South Korean lawmaker leaves political party amid crypto investment controversy

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A lawmaker allegedly sold over $4 million in cryptocurrency prior to the country’s enforcement of the “Travel Rule” from the Financial Action Task Force.

South Korean lawmaker Kim Nam-kuk has announced his departure from the Democratic Party over his alleged crypto dealings while legislating on digital assets. The politician said that he would continue his fight to prove his innocence independently. 

According to Kim, his departure will relieve party members of the burden brought about by the controversy. He believes the issues should no longer affect the party during a crucial time. While leaving the party, Kim highlighted that he would still support the political faction.

Meanwhile, the politician also said he would continue his efforts to bring the truth to light as an independent legislator. “I will stand up to the end to unfair political offenses and reveal the truth,” he said.

Kim criticized the media for reporting on his crypto dealings, stating the reports were not based on facts and pledged to confront them.

South Korean politician Kim Nam-kuk’s announcement translated into English. Source: Facebook

On May 8, the lawmaker was accused of liquidating over $4 million worth of crypto assets before the country started to enforce the “Travel Rule” from the Financial Action Task Force in March 2023. Authorities are still investigating the politician for alleged violations. 

Related: South Korea’s sweeping crypto bill passes first regulatory hurdles

South Korea’s central bank has been constantly ramping up its efforts to oversee crypto in the country. On April 24, the Bank of Korea was allowed to investigate crypto-related businesses. With this, the bank can request transaction data from local crypto operators.

In other news, research for a central bank digital currency (CBDC) for offline payments is underway in South Korea. On May 15, Samsung Electronics partnered with the central bank to perform research on the offline capabilities of a CBDC. 

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