The floor leader of South Korea’s lead party has called for an earlier implementation of a bill requiring lawmakers and top government officials to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings, according to a report by Yonhap News on May 23.
The bill, scheduled to be voted on May 26, currently stipulates that the new crypto disclosure rules would take effect six months after the promulgation. However, Representative Yun Jae-ok of the People Power Party (PPP) said this timeline is inappropriate given the high level of public interest and scrutiny on crypto-related matters.
“Given the current high level of public interest, especially regarding lawmakers, it’s not appropriate to enforce the law six months after the promulgation,” Yun Jae-ok said. He added that the bill needs to be revised to include a clause that would bring forward the enforcement date before it is passed.
The bill was proposed in response to a recent scandal involving Kim Nam-kuk, a former member of the opposing Democratic Party, who allegedly sold more than $4 million worth of crypto assets before the country enforced its anti-money laundering rules for crypto transactions in March. Kim resigned from his party on May 15 amid public outrage and investigations by authorities.
Under the current law, South Korean government officials must report their holdings of stocks, bonds, jewelry, gifted memberships, and other assets worth more than 1 million Korean won ($760), but not cryptocurrencies and digital assets. The bill aims to close this loophole and increase transparency and accountability among public officials.
If passed, the bill would apply to lawmakers, high-ranking civil servants, judges, prosecutors, and heads of public institutions. They must declare their crypto holdings and transactions over $760 within 30 days of acquisition or disposal. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action or dismissal.
The bill is part of South Korea’s efforts to regulate and monitor the crypto industry amid its growing popularity and adoption. The country has introduced various measures to prevent money laundering, tax evasion, and fraud involving cryptocurrencies, such as requiring crypto exchanges to register with financial authorities and verify their customers’ identities.