Korean lawmakers rally towards crypto rules in May after grisly murder case: Report

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Crypto policy making efforts have been reignited in South Korea after a woman was murdered following a dispute over digital assets.

Lawmakers from South Korea are pushing to enshrine stricter regulation of digital assets in the wake of a gruesome murder case involving digital assets. 

According to a May 18 Bloomberg report, a Korean woman was abducted on March 29 and later murdered in a dispute believed to have stemmed from a disagreement over cryptocurrency-related losses — adding to a string of digital-asset-related scandals including Do Kwon’s Terra Money ecosystem collapse in May last year.

The recent murder case has reportedly added urgency for lawmakers to expedite the nation’s first standalone crypto bill, which could be passed in a parliamentary vote later this month.

“There is finally a consensus on both sides of the aisle that we need to get a law in place as soon as possible,” Back Hyeryun, a lawmaker from the opposition Democratic Party of Korea told Bloomberg.

“There were too many issues, so it was necessary to focus on one thing first — investor protection — to move on quickly,” she added.

The new prospective bill is called the Virtual Asset User Protection Bill, which wraps together a total of 19 different crypto-related bills into one standalone bill.

Related: South Korean authorities raid Upbit, Bithumb crypto exchanges after political scandal

According to a draft version of the bill seen by Bloomberg, the legislation outlines clear legal definitions of virtual assets and imposes penalties for offenses such as insider trading and market manipulation. Additionally, the new bill would grant the country’s Financial Services Commission power to oversee crypto companies and custody of assets.

The act will also require that digital assets firms take out insurance to protect themselves from hacks as well as tighter rules on reserve funds and account keeping. These rules are set to apply to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, while existing capital-markets law would apply to tokens that the government has deemed to be securities.

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