The Democratic Party of Korea has introduced a mandate compelling prospective candidates to disclose their digital asset holdings before the upcoming 2024 general election.
This move is part of the party’s broader initiative to demonstrate the “high moral standards” of its candidates, signalling an approach to transparency.
According to reports from local outlet News1, this mandatory disclosure will play a pivotal role in the party’s efforts to scrutinise potential conflicts of interest related to virtual assets.
Han Byung-do, the chairman of the Democratic Party’s strategic planning committee, conveyed this decision during a closed-door meeting with journalists.
In the event of false reports, the Democratic Party has asserted that it will promptly cancel the candidacy of the individual in question.
Han Byung-do emphasised:
“We decided to verify whether a candidate has a conflict of interest in virtual assets from the verification committee screening stage. If you make a false report, you will be legally held responsible for it. And if you are found, you will take correspondingly strict measures (candidacy cancellation, etc.). However, holding virtual assets itself cannot be questioned. Owning it itself is not the problem.”
Public Disclosure for Voter Awareness
The information gathered from prospective candidates, including details about their digital asset holdings, will be made available to the public through an online platform.
This platform will feature information about candidates, encompassing their professional backgrounds, educational histories, and plans for legislative activities.
This step towards increased transparency aligns with the party’s commitment to providing voters with an understanding of the individuals seeking office.
This move comes against the backdrop of a previous incident involving a Democratic Party member, Kim Nam-kuk, who faced scrutiny for once holding at least $4.5 million in Wemix (WEMIX) tokens developed by the South Korean blockchain game developer Wemade.
This raised concerns related to potential conflicts of interest, insider information usage, and even money laundering.
The controversy surrounding Kim Nam-kuk’s ownership of Wemix tokens contributed to the acceleration of a legal initiative calling for officials to report their cryptocurrency holdings in South Korea.
Notably, a parliamentary ethics subcommittee in South Korea voted against a motion to expel Kim from the National Assembly.
However, the lawmaker eventually chose to leave the Democratic Party amidst the ongoing discussions surrounding his digital asset holdings.
As South Korea prepares for the next general elections in 2024, the Democratic Party’s decision to mandate digital asset disclosure underscores the evolving landscape of political accountability in the face of the growing influence of cryptocurrencies.