In a country where Bitcoin regularly sells at a 50% higher price compared to the rest of the world, the death of a cryptocurrency regulator doesn’t go unnoticed. This Sunday, Jung Ki-joon, the economic policy leader in charge of South Korea’s cryptocurrency regulation was found dead in his home.
Mr. Ki-joon spearheaded the country’s cryptocurrency policy, likely under a great deal of stress. Last month, alarming reports of a unilateral cryptocurrency ban by minister Park San-ki created panic dropped cryptocurrency values.
Mr Ki-joon’s work centered around policies banning illegal money laundering and unregulated speculation. Police are investigating the cause of his death, though Korean news agency, Yonhap, has called it a heart attack.
The South Korean interest in cryptocurrency is massive. South Korea’s won is second to the US dollar for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash transactions, ahead of both the Japanese yen and the euro. An estimated 20% of all cryptocurrency transactions worldwide come from South Korea.
The South Korean Financial Services Commission began enforcing its first cryptocurrency regulations on January 30th. These new policies require cryptocurrency traders to provide proof of valid bank accounts and identification.