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South Korean Regulator Will Force Staff to Declare Crypto – Will Other Countries Follow Suit?

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
Gyeongbokgung and the N Seoul Tower in Seoul, South Korea
Source: CJ Nattanai/Adobe

The top South Korean financial regulator will force its employees to declare their crypto holdings in the aftermath of the “Coin Gate” scandal.

Lawmakers in the nation have come under fire for suspected insider trading, with one MP accused of selling his tokens in advance of the rollout of a new piece of crypto regulation.

It has since emerged the MP was serving on a crypto-related parliamentary subcommittee at the time.

The fallout of “Coin Gate” has seen MPs, regulators, and other public officials all call for one another to disclose their crypto holdings.

And this, Yonhap reported, has now spread to the staff of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the nation’s top financial regulator.

The FSC is one of the main government agencies charged with regulating the nation’s crypto industry, and has the ability to conduct spot-checks on domestic crypto exchanges.

The commission this week updated its Code of Conduct for employees, with the new code barring staff working with “virtual assets” from “investing in virtual currency using undisclosed information learned while performing their duties.”

And the new code requires any staff who own tokens to “report this to the Financial Services Commission.”

The block on crypto trading will apply to “public officials currently performing duties related to virtual assets and employees who have performed such duties in the prior six months.”

Employees will be required to file a new form named Report on the Possession of Virtual Assets.

This form requires any crypto-holding staff to inform the FSC of “the type of virtual assets held,” the “date of acquisition,” and “the quantity” of tokens held.

A graph showing trading volumes on Upbit, South Korea’s market-leading crypto exchange, over the past three months.
Trading volumes on Upbit, South Korea’s market-leading crypto exchange, over the past three months. (Source:

The FSC will need legislative changes to put its new code into action, but is hopeful it can fast-track this process.

An FSC official was quoted as saying:

“We plan to complete the legislative process in the second half of this year.”

S Korean Regulator Wants Government Workers to Declare Crypto – Will Others Follow Suit?

But South Korea and Japan are widely thought to be at the cutting edge of crypto regulation, a fact that could suggest other nations could well follow their leads.

Some countries in other regions have already rolled out legislation that requires certain public officials to file crypto declarations.

Early adopters on this front include Ukraine, where laws were introduced to force sitting MPs to declare all assets, including crypto holdings.

Such declarations have previously led to outrage about the size of the crypto caches held by many Ukrainian MPs, with some asking where lawmakers acquired such vast token holdings.