April 18, 2024

The South Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission revealed the result of its investigation of lawmakers’ crypto activities. The report disclosed that the lawmakers have completed crypto transactions worth almost $100 million within the past three years.

The probe, which has been ongoing for three months, covered the digital assets transactions between May 30, 2020 and May 31, 2023. Moreover, it revealed some irregularities among the lawmakers, raising the need for transparency and ethical standards in their financial activities.

Crypto Activities Of South Korean Lawmakers Exposed 

On December 29, the Anti-Corruption Commission released the report of its investigation into the country’s 298 lawmakers’ crypto engagement.

According to the report, some members of the South Korean National Assembly have conducted several crypto deals, such as buying, selling, and trading digital assets within the stated period.

Further, the investigation revealed that 18 out of the 298 sitting lawmakers held digital assets in the past three years. However, 11 members contributed to the total traded crypto tokens during the timeframe.

Additionally, the commission quoted that the lawmakers conducted crypto trades worth about 125.6 billion Korean won, equivalent to $97.6 million.

A breakdown of the activities indicated the crypto purchases and sales amounted to 62.5 billion won ($48.4 million) and 63.1 billion won (48.8 million), respectively. Already, South Korea has a compulsory requirement for nearly 6,000 officials to disclose their virtual asset holdings starting in 2024.

The officials will make the declaration through the country’s Public Official Ethics System. Before now, some civil servants declare their crypto holdings on ministries’ websites, parliamentary chambers, or the government’s gazette.

However, the new reporting system will enable Korean citizens access to all the officials’ disclosed information by 2024.

Also, the top five South Korean crypto exchanges, Bithumb, Upbit, Gopax, Coinone, and Korbit, must comply with specified rules. They are to establish separate information provision systems to simplify data updates regarding crypto holdings and transactions.

Investigation Unveils Detailed Asset Holding And Discrepancies 

Moreover, the commission’s probe unveiled the lawmakers’ various portfolios of digital asset holdings. Shockingly, they have up to 107 different types of crypto assets in their possessions.

Bitcoin took the lead as the most preferred crypto token among the lawmakers. This corresponds with the global trend in the crypto industry and market.

Additionally, the report highlighted some discrepancies in the crypto holdings and transaction records of 10 legislators. Notably, the reported portfolios differ from their voluntary declarations at the beginning of 2023.

Further, the commission uncovered that a lawmaker completed about 49 different crypto transactions without any disclosure to the parliament.

In defense, the legislator quoted the situation of a closed crypto exchange account. Notably, the South Korean government demands mandatory disclosure of crypto assets from all its civil servants.

This decision came after an incident in May 2023 where a Democratic Party member was accused of non-declaration of $4.5 million worth of Wemix (WEMIX) tokens. 

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