The South Korean government recently announced new measures aimed at increasing transparency around public officials’ assets, including their holdings of cryptocurrencies. The move follows recent revisions to the country’s Public Official Ethics Act, which requires more detailed reporting around virtual assets like cryptocurrencies.
On December 27th, The Ministry of Personnel Management reported that 5,800 high-ranking public officials must register their property details, including crypto assets, on the government’s “Public Ethics and Transparency Initiative” system. This online portal allows the public to access and review the disclosures of property of public officials.
The new disclosure rules follow the passage of two bills in May that made digital assets part of the annual asset declaration required for elected and high-ranking government officials. The bills were part of a broader legislative package of 19 crypto-related bills that aimed to protect investors better and regulate the crypto industry.
The bills gave the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Bank of Korea the authority to oversee crypto operators and asset custodians and imposed stricter anti-money laundering and consumer protection measures. The bills also required domestic companies to disclose their virtual asset holdings from next year as part of the new accounting rules.
Crypto Exchanges To Develop Separate System
The Ministry of Personnel Management said that the five major domestic crypto exchanges — Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax — plan to develop a separate information system in June next year, which could be used for property registration. The ministry said that the system will help streamline the disclosure process and prevent errors or omissions.
We expect that the transparency of the public service community will be further increased through the implementation of an integrated service for public official property disclosure and property registration of virtual assets, said Kim Seung-ho, the Director of Personnel Management.
Asset disclosure details, which were previously made individually through official gazettes or gazettes by the public service ethics committees of each institution, such as the government, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court, will be provided collectively in the revamped public service ethics system starting next year.
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