Lawmaker Reveals Korean Officials Quit Job for Joining Crypto Industry

According to local media, an increasing number of public officials in South Korea are showing preference for career opportunities in the crypto space. A Korean lawmaker has disclosed that some of these officials are belong to the financial sector and this gives rise to some ethical concerns.

A member of the parliament in South Korea and belonging to the ruling Democratic Party, Roh Woong-rae has disclosed that there is a rising number of officials in Seoul are moving towards the crypto sector and vacating their government posts. He said on Sunday that stricter rules should be implemented regarding the employment of these officials after they leave public service.

The lawmaker stated that a Grade 5 employee at the Financial Services Commission (FSC), which is the main financial regulator in South Korea, has recently left his job to join one of the leading exchanges for digital assets in the country, Bithumb.

Roh said that under the current regulations, such employment is not restricted. He also added that he considers it highly inappropriate that a former official for the FSC has joined a crypto company that is monitored by the regulatory agency he was working for previously. The classification of government officials in South Korea is done according to their seniority, with Grade 1 considered the top level.

When it comes to the FSC as well as the FSS (Financial Supervisory Service), which is another regulator in the country, only officials at the Grade 4 level or higher are required to undergo screening for employment before they decide to work at a private firm.

The Public Service Ethics Act dictates that government employees who are employed at Grade 4 or higher will not be allowed to take a position in the private sector, if it is relevant to their previous job. This is applicable for three years after they leave their government job.

The Fair Trade Commission, the antitrust watchdog in Korea, checks the employment status of all public officials who are working at Grade 7 or a higher level. However, Noh was unhappy with the public service ethics committee and he slammed them for not reviewing all the cases thoroughly, when it comes to conducting employment screening.

He gave an example of another high-ranking official working for the FSS, who had gotten a position at Upbit. This is another major crypto exchange in South Korea. The lawmaker stated that this official was responsible for the fintech space.

Rep. Roh Woong-rae said that the ethics committee hadn’t had any problems with the move. However, he said that he couldn’t understand the outcome of the screening because the work of the official in question was closely related to digital assets. The parliamentarian said that such cases were not just restricted to financial regulators.

He referred to a police official working for the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, who headed a team that investigated crypto-related crimes, and was now gearing up to join the Upbit exchange as well. He said that this was very unethical of the exchange because they were expected to work as shields rather than experts.

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