South Korean lawmakers on Thursday unanimously approved a new bill requiring public officials and candidates to disclose their crypto holdings from 2024, according to local news outlet Chosun-Ilbo.

See related article: Bank of Korea and financial regulator in turf war over who supervises crypto industry

Fast facts

  • High-ranking public officials above Grade 4, such as the members of the National Assembly, will be required to report their crypto holdings, regardless of amount, from Jan. 1, 2024.
  • The country’s Public Service Ethics Act require officials to disclose owned assets such as cash, stocks and bonds worth over 10 million Korean won (US$7,572), but cryptocurrencies or other virtual assets were not subject to reporting.
  • The bill, spearheaded by conservative lawmaker Lee Man-hee, also imposes a limit on the investment amount for an official involved in the crypto sector.
  • ​​The proposal follows the ongoing scandal surrounding former lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk of the opposing Democratic Party. He is under investigation by local prosecutors for campaign finance violations, tax portals and concealment of criminal proceeds surrounding his hidden crypto possessions and transactions, according to local media outlet Chosun Ilbo.
  • South Korean cryptocurrency investors account for a significant portion of the global market, according to crypto data platform Xangle. The Korean won was the third most-used currency in Bitcoin transactions after the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen.
  • The east Asian nation is also developing a two-part legal framework for its crypto market and industry to enhance transparency and fair trading practices.

See related article: S.Korean lawmakers propose public officials disclose crypto holdings