South Korea Implements Mandatory Crypto Disclosure for High-Ranking Officials

South Korea enhances transparency in the public sector by requiring high-ranking officials to disclose cryptocurrency holdings. The move, prompted by a recent scandal, aims to curb conflicts of interest and money laundering, reinforcing public confidence.

South Korea is set to bolster transparency in its public sector as high-ranking officials, numbering around 5,800, face a new mandate. Starting next year, these officials must publicly disclose their cryptocurrency holdings, a measure introduced by the Ministry of Personnel Management. The information will be accessible through the Public Official Ethics System (PETI), streamlining the reporting process.

The Ethics Policy Division emphasized that the integrated asset disclosure service will include cryptocurrencies and other assets, replacing the traditional official gazettes. Kim Seung-ho, the director of personnel management, expressed optimism, anticipating increased transparency in the public service community.

This legislative move responds to the $4.5 million Wemix token scandal involving Democratic Party member Kim Nam-kuk. The incident raised concerns about conflicts of interest and money laundering, prompting lawmakers to pass two bills. Elected officials and high-ranking government personnel will now be required to report cryptocurrency holdings in their yearly asset declarations.

In tandem, major South Korean crypto exchanges, including Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax, plan to launch a dedicated information system in June next year. This system aims to facilitate accurate and efficient disclosure of crypto holdings, contributing to the overall effort to strengthen transparency and integrity in the public sector.

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