South Korean lawmakers have recently come under fire due to an inspection conducted by the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission. The inspection, conducted between May 30, 2020, to May 31, 2023, revealed that 18 out of 298 sitting lawmakers possessed virtual assets. Of these, 11 were actively trading, with the total buying and selling figures reaching a combined value of 126.6 billion won ($97.2 million).
The commission’s report also highlighted the diverse range of cryptocurrencies held by the politicians, with Bitcoin being the most popular asset. It also drew attention to potential financial gains involved in these activities.
Moreover, the commission discovered discrepancies in the transaction and holding records of 10 legislators. One lawmaker was found to have conducted 49 cryptocurrency transactions without reporting them to the National Assembly. Furthermore, changes in virtual asset holdings for three legislators coincided with their participation in standing committee meetings.
The commission has since recommended the implementation of new parliamentary rules, which would require lawmakers to report their holdings in virtual assets. This would help to increase transparency and accountability within the National Assembly.
The findings of this investigation emphasize the importance of establishing clear regulations and ethical guidelines regarding lawmakers’ involvement in virtual asset trading. As the use of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, it is essential to have robust frameworks in place to regulate their use by public officials.