UpdatesMay 29, 2023

South Korean politicians have been obliged to disclose their investments in digital currencies

Under the new law, South Korean public officials are legally required to include cryptocurrency holdings in their asset declarations.

South Korea has officially passed a law that requires all lawmakers and high-ranking government officials to disclose their wealth in cash, stocks, bonds, commodities, and digital currencies. The new legal order is a response to the recent scandal in this country involving one of the popular politicians, who most likely violated the rules on how to finance the election campaign with virtual currencies.

South Korean politicians have been obliged to disclose their investments in cryptocurrencies

According to the latest reports from the South Korean news agency News1, the National Assembly of South Korea, which is the country's unicameral parliament, has officially passed a law that requires both lawmakers and high-ranking government officials to disclose all data related to their assets also kept in digital currencies. It is worth adding that the above-mentioned act additionally requires politicians to provide all financial data on funds stored in cash, shares and bonds.

Relevant amendments to the Public Service Ethics Act were unanimously approved by South Korean politicians on May 22 this year. The latest amendment to the National Assembly Act put cryptocurrencies on the list of registered properties of lawmakers and “private interests”.

On the same day, an amendment to the Public Officials Ethics Act mentioned above was submitted to the South Korean Public Administration and Security Commission. The new legal regulations forced both high-ranking officials and all members of the National Assembly to register their financial assets.

Government officials do not shy away from crypto assets

The aforementioned legal changes to the act were originally supposed to be implemented as early as December 2023, but these changes turned out to be so significant that it was brought forward to this month. The main reason for the accelerated entry into force of these regulations was that the chairman of the People's Power Party, Yun Jae-ok, stated that the previous date was "far too late".

The entry into force of the law was accelerated after a spectacular scandal involving one of South Korea's popular politicians, Kim Nam-guk. The case involved a person allegedly withdrawing $4.5 million in cryptocurrency from the Wemix platform in early 2022. Moreover, the same politician strongly supported the bill postponing the implementation of the 20% capital gains tax on digital currencies from 2023 to 2025. It is worth adding that he denied that there was any conflict of interest between the state of his assets and the new tax regulations.

Cryptocurrencies and American politicians

Recently, it has become increasingly common for government officials from other countries to also use digital currencies. For example, the United States requires its politicians and public officials to disclose this type of information. This small group in the United States includes, for example, US Senator Cynthia Lummis, who in 2021 announced to the public that she had 5 Bitcoins (BTC), of which she bought 3 for only $ 300 many years ago.

An interesting fact is that US Senator Ted Cruz also diversified his portfolio using the leading cryptocurrency. He revealed having just over 2 BTC. The American politician strongly emphasized that he treats investing in digital currencies as a long-term hedge of his assets against inflation.