South Korean Lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk Exits Party Amid Crypto Scandal
South Korean lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk has announced his exit from the Democratic Party over allegations of illicit crypto transactions while he was legislating on digital assets. Kim has vehemently denied the charges, pledging to continue his battle for vindication independently.
Kim Departs to Relieve Party of Controversy
Kim maintains that his departure will alleviate the burden of controversy from fellow party members, insisting that the issue should no longer cast a shadow over the party during a critical period. Despite leaving the party, Kim reassured his continued support for the political group.
Vowing to Bring Truth to Light
The legislator has also declared his intentions to persist in his fight for truth as an independent legislator. “I will stand up to the end against unfair political offenses and reveal the truth,” Kim stated.
Kim lambasted the media for their reportage on his crypto dealings, labeling the reports as unfounded, and vowed to challenge them.
Accusations of Liquidating Crypto Assets Prior to Travel Rule
Kim was accused on May 8 of liquidating over $4 million worth of crypto assets before South Korea began implementing the “Travel Rule” from the Financial Action Task Force in March 2023.
Investigations into Alleged Violations and Continued Crypto Oversight
The country’s authorities are currently investigating the legislator for alleged violations of the rule. This controversy comes amid heightened scrutiny and oversight of crypto dealings by South Korea’s central bank.
On April 24, the Bank of Korea was granted permission to probe crypto-related businesses, allowing the bank to request transaction data from local crypto operators. This action represents a significant step in the nation’s attempts to regulate and oversee the digital currency sphere.
South Korea Advances in CBDC Research
In a separate development, the research for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline payments is advancing in South Korea. On May 15, Samsung Electronics announced a partnership with the country’s central bank to study the offline capabilities of a CBDC. This collaboration further underscores the importance of digital currency in the country’s financial future, even as it grapples with controversies related to crypto investments.
In the face of allegations and increasing regulatory scrutiny, it remains to be seen how this will impact South Korea’s rapidly evolving crypto landscape and the political career of Kim Nam-kuk.