Government Officials in South Korea Accused of Crypto Trading
Rep. Choi Won-sik, second from right, of the opposition the People's Party's speaks at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. South Korea's opposition lawmakers on Monday continued their nonstop speeches for a seventh straight day in parliament to block a vote on a government-backed anti-terrorism bill that they say would threaten personal freedoms and privacy if passed into law. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
Last week was filled with confusion and squalor over cryptocurrency regulation in South Korea continues to unfold in the form of accusations on the surface of trading government officials on the inside.
According to local reports on Thursday, January 18, some Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) officials, who were aware of the upcoming announcements of a complete ban or significant restrictions on trade, bought and sold crypto-currency just before this information went Public.
FSS chief Choi Hyung-sik confirmed the suspicions at a meeting on Thursday, admitting:
“We confirmed the intelligence.We confirmed that some officials had done such an act.”
Allegations of corrupt activity further weakened Seoul’s position after its highly offensive and contradictory campaign on cryptocurrency regulation provoked a substantial public clamor.
A public petition requesting for a reversal of restrictions and the dismissal of some high-level ministers has now attracted more than 200,000 signatures, which means that a government response is required within 30 days.
Meanwhile, the legality of any crypto-initiated trade based on classified knowledge is unclear at the moment. Ironically, the uncertain legal status of cryptocurrency means that the practice cannot be managed as a negotiation involving fully regulated instruments.
An FSS official said:
“There is no code of ethics and no code of conduct for investing in cryptocurrency according to FSS regulations, so it’s hard to say anything about punishment at this point.”
China also points out that officials could be charged not with accusations about “inside trading,” but more generally with “the misuse of internal information.”