Enhanced Asset Disclosure for Public Officials Including Cryptocurrencies and Restrictions on Legislators’ Cryptocurrency Transactions

Starting this year, the disclosure of assets by public officials will be significantly enhanced, and restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions by members of the National Assembly will be introduced. The Ministry of Personnel Management announced the launch of an integrated service that allows for the inspection of asset disclosure information of public officials through the Public Ethics Information System (PETI), following recent amendments to the Public Officials Ethics Act. This reform consolidates asset disclosure information from various institutions, including the government, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court, into one platform and includes cryptocurrencies as part of the assets to be disclosed.

Public officials are now required to report their assets, including cryptocurrencies, real estate, cash, deposits, insurance, stocks, government and corporate bonds, securities, debts, and certain amounts of gold, platinum, jewelry, antiques, art, club memberships, and intellectual property rights. Approximately 290,000 public officials will register their assets accordingly, with cryptocurrency holdings information to be provided through the information systems of the top five domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.

Separately, the Democratic Party announced a general election pledge to prohibit members of the National Assembly from trading cryptocurrencies in principle. This measure aims to prevent potential conflicts of interest by prohibiting cryptocurrency transactions during legislative sessions, influenced by the case of Kim Nam-guk, an independent lawmaker who left the party amid allegations of significant cryptocurrency holdings.

The Ministry of Personnel Management will impose fines, dismissals, or requests for disciplinary actions against public officials who falsely declare their assets or use confidential information obtained through their duties for personal financial gain. These strengthened asset disclosure regulations and restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions by members of the National Assembly are expected to contribute to increased transparency in the public sector.