Korean regulators are starting the fight against cryptocurrencies from within. The country has now imposed reporting requirements on all employees of its Financial Services Commission (FSC).
The Commission’s Chairman Eun Sung-soo disclosed that all officials who hold digital assets are expected to file reports on their investments by May 7. According to Lee Kyung-min, a reporter with the Korea Times, failure to adhere to the new directive will attract soft penalties.
These measures are not binding, and penalties for violating them are not strong.
The new directive covers FSC employees who are responsible for drafting and applying virtual currency laws, those who manage crypto-based tech developments, and staff who report on or manage crypto exchanges. Individuals in these categories are required to notify chairman Sung-soo if they speculated on any crypto. They are also prohibited from leveraging insider information to make crypto investments.
South Korea has been tightening its grip on cryptocurrencies. The country recently formed dedicated crypto investigation teams to keep tabs on illegal transactions. This came after officials threatened crypto businesses with a 5-year jail term for failing to submit records of crypto transactions with the Financial Intelligence Unit.
The FSC chairman appears to be very displeased with the ongoing crypto frenzy. Recall that the Kimchi Premium returned to Korean exchanges earlier this month. While Bitcoin was trading at $59,000 on global exchanges, Korean traders were paying more than $68,000.
Sung-soo cautioned adults not to set a negative precedent for the younger generations through risky speculations. According to him:
Adults are responsible for leading young people who are going the wrong way. It’s too risky to trade them considering their high volatility in prices.
His comments have been met with a lot of public backlash, with some citizens calling for his resignation. An online petition has been created to this effect, and so far, nearly 130,000 residents have signed the petition. An excerpt of the petition reads:
It is beyond condescending and hypocritical for Eun to lecture today's hard-working young people who are finding it unimaginably hard to own a home, much less have financial assets of any sort. Eun saw his real estate value increase over the past few years. He has no standing to lecture us about what is right and wrong.