By: Isha Das
The South Korean government announced a significant development by initiating a unified public official asset disclosure service which includes registration of cryptocurrency holdings starting from next year, aiming to enhance transparency and accountability in the public sector. This initiative is expected to allow comprehensive information about the assets of public officials via a centralized platform called the Public Ethics Management Information System (PETI).
Until now, asset disclosure in South Korea has been handled separately by different institutions which includes the government, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Court. This multifaceted system made it difficult for the public to have comprehensive details about the assets of public officials. The new initiative expands the scope of asset disclosure to include cryptocurrency holdings - a significant update considering the rising popularity of cryptocurrencies.
Starting from 1st January 2024, all asset disclosure data for public officials will be accessible via the PETI system which will serve as a one-stop source for information about assets of around 5,800 public officials like high-ranking civil servants, university professors, National Assembly members, and senior public officials. Furthermore, to ensure smooth implementation, a '2024 Regular Asset Change Report Guide' will be distributed and 'outreach asset registration training sessions' will be conducted across all 17 cities and provinces.
This step is seen as an effort by South Korean authorities to catch up with modern financial technologies and trends that could potentially pose transparency issues. The registration of crypto assets is a step forward in acknowledging the role of digital currencies in asset holdings.
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