In a recent decision, South Korea’s parliamentary ethics subcommittee has voted against the expulsion of Kim Nam-kuk, a former member of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP).
On August 30, it was reported that the parliamentary ethics subcommittee rejected the motion to expel Kim, who had faced significant scrutiny over his cryptocurrency holdings earlier this year. The proposal to expel him was put forth after revelations that he once possessed over $4.5 million worth of Wemix (WEMIX) tokens, which were developed by South Korean blockchain game developer Wemade. Notably, these tokens were traded on major South Korean exchanges until a local court ordered their removal from platforms in late 2022.
Kim’s involvement in WEMIX investments had raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest, insider trading, and even money laundering. This case played a pivotal role in the swift development of legal measures requiring officials to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings, including assets like Bitcoin, in South Korea. This initiative seeks to ensure transparency and prevent ethical violations among public servants.
South Korea’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation isn’t limited to officials alone. In July, the country’s Financial Services Commission unveiled a new bill mandating that all companies issuing or holding cryptocurrencies disclose their holdings starting in 2024.
Furthermore, local governments have also taken steps to enforce compliance with tax regulations involving cryptocurrency. The city of Cheongju, in mid-August, announced its intention to confiscate cryptocurrencies from local tax delinquents, pressuring exchanges like Upbit and Bithumb to report individuals who evade their tax obligations.
This decision by the parliamentary ethics subcommittee regarding Kim Nam-kuk signifies a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to strike a balance between cryptocurrency ownership and public office responsibilities in South Korea’s political landscape.