S. Korea Passes Bill Enforcing the Disclosure of Crypto Assets for Officials
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S. Korea Passes Bill Enforcing the Disclosure of Crypto Assets for Officials

Reports from earlier this month revealed that a top South Korean lawmaker secretly held and moved $4.5m in crypto funds.
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In the wake of the controversial news involving a top lawmaker holding $4.5 million worth of undisclosed crypto funds, South Korea moved quickly to pass a new bill that makes crypto disclosure for high-ranking public officials mandatory. All present lawmakers in the National Assembly unanimously voted in favor of the bill, local agency News1 reported on Thursday.

All Lawmakers Voted in Favour of the New Crypto Disclosure Bill

On May 25, South Korea’s National Assembly unanimously approved the bill that makes crypto holdings disclosure mandatory for the country’s lawmakers and top public officials, according to News1. The bill, passed during a plenary session on Thursday, comes in response to the recent controversy involving high-ranking South Korean lawmakers holding and moving vast amounts of undisclosed cryptocurrencies.

As per News 1 report, the new bill involved changes to the Public Service Ethics Act and the National Assembly Act. All lawmakers during the sessions voted in favor of the amendments.

The National Assembly Act was passed on May 22, adding crypto assets to the list of registered property by policymakers. In addition, the approved amendments to the Officials Ethics Act require South Korea’s top officials and National Assembly members to report their crypto holdings. The legislation was originally planned to come into force in December 2023, but some lawmakers, including People Power Party’s Yun Jae-ok, called for signing the bill into law by July.

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The Kim Nam-guk Prevention Law

The passing of the so-called “Kim Nam-guk Prevention Law” marks the South Korean government’s quick reaction to the recent scandal involving former top lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk. Namely, local reports revealed earlier this month that the politician was being investigated over allegations that he held and withdrew roughly 800,000 WEMIX tokens ($4.5m) in 2022 without previously disclosing it to the public.

A week later, the South Korean prosecutors began raiding local crypto exchanges, such as Upbit and Bithumb, as part of their probe into Kim’s secret crypto holdings. Meanwhile, the lawmaker denied the accusations and announced his departure from the Democratic Party to ease pressure on his fellow party members.

In April, the National Assembly passed the first phase review of proposed rules that would give South Korean financial regulators the power to investigate and oversee cryptocurrency-related activities. Interestingly, the bill did not include central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and other services offered by the country’s central bank.

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