South Korea to Publicly Disclose Crypto Holdings of 5,800 Officials in 2024

In a move towards transparency, South Korea is set to unveil the cryptocurrency holdings of approximately 5,800 public officials starting next year. The nation’s Ministry of Personnel Management announced the initiative, integrating these disclosures into the Public Official Ethics System, offering Korean citizens direct access to government officials’ crypto portfolios. The move, sparked by a scandal involving a lawmaker, is a pivotal step in increasing transparency and accountability among public servants.

The legislative shift, passed in May, necessitates public officials’ disclosure of crypto assets, ensuring their inclusion in annual asset declarations for elected and high-ranking government officials. Kim Seung-ho, the Minister of Personnel Management, emphasized the anticipated enhancement of public service transparency through the implementation of an integrated service for property disclosure, including virtual assets.

Come June 2024, major South Korean crypto exchanges, including Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit, and Gopax, will roll out separate information provision systems. These systems aim to simplify the registration of crypto holdings, ushering in a new era of clarity and traceability for both officials and the public.

This move aligns with South Korea’s broader regulatory efforts in the crypto space. In June, lawmakers passed a comprehensive set of bills aimed at better protecting crypto investors. These laws grant the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Bank of Korea authority to oversee crypto operators and asset custodians. Additionally, the FSC announced plans to mandate domestic companies to disclose cryptocurrency holdings from the following year, reinforcing regulatory frameworks for enhanced accountability.

As the nation strides towards increased regulatory clarity and transparency, this move is poised to set a precedent for other jurisdictions. South Korea’s commitment to unveiling the crypto holdings of its public officials underscores the growing importance of transparency in the evolving landscape of digital assets.

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