The South Korean prime minister has ordered a new code of conduct to be prepared and implemented specifically to address the actions of government employees regarding cryptocurrency regulations. This follows the recent case of possible insider trading which is being investigated.
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Prime Minister Orders New Code of Conduct
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon.
The South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon made an announcement on Tuesday following criticisms regarding the government’s handling of cryptocurrency regulation.
Lee noted that the public is angry because an “employee who worked in the virtual currency countermeasures department was found to have earned profits from virtual currency transactions,” Yonhap described. Citing that the Financial Services Commission (FSC) is still investigating the issue, Lee emphasized, “The legal nature of virtual currency has not yet been defined, but the people are angry.”
Subsequently, he “ordered the Human Resources Innovation and Citizens’ Rights Commission to prepare and implement the principles and standards that each institution should follow,” Sedaily explained. Yonhap then quoted him saying:
Each agency should take necessary measures, such as supplementing the code of conduct for employees in charge of virtual currency issues.
However, an FSC official revealed that it is “difficult to apply the Capital Market Law or the National Public Service Act” to the insider trading case since “virtual currencies are not financial products prescribed by law,” Dong-A Ilbo reported.
Earlier this month, the FSC, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) and the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) advised their employees to refrain from trading cryptocurrencies during work hours, Yonhap noted.
Better Coordination Needed
The prime minister also emphasized the need for better coordination among ministries, citing the recent confusion when the Ministry of Justice independently announced a bill to ban cryptocurrency trading, sending panic across global cryptocurrency markets. However, the FSC soon made its own announcement stating that the matter has not been discussed and the bill is strictly the initiative of the Ministry of Justice alone.
Lee said last week that “that the government’s position on virtual currency remains unchanged, but the opinions of government ministries may differ,” Asia Economy wrote. Yonhap quoted him reiterating that the final government position will be announced after an inter-ministerial coordination, noting that:
As each ministry pursues a policy, it is necessary to adjust in advance the matters that need to be reconciled between the ministries.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Korean government.
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