South Korean cryptocurrency regulator found dead at home

Posted: 20 February 2018 4:28 pm
News

Reports suggest Jung Ki-joon suffered a heart attack, but the cause of death is still under investigation.

52-year-old Jung Ki-joon has been found dead in his home, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The head of economic policy at the Office for Government Policy Coordination helped coordinate efforts to create new legislation specifically aimed at suppressing cryptocurrency speculation and illicit activity.

Korea's Yonhap News Agency says Jung is presumed to have suffered a heart attack, and that he had been under heavy stress since taking charge of cryptocurrency controls. However, an official has only said that they are still unsure about the cause of death.

Last month Jung said that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin were not a form of legal currency and that the government would "strongly respond to excessive cryptocurrency speculation and illegal activity". This is similar to the stance taken around the world, including in Australia.

Cryptocurrencies are not considered equivalent to fiat currency anywhere, while scammy ICOs have been consistently springing up and disappearing with speculator funds.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies became especially popular in South Korea, to the extent that they've often traded at higher prices there. It's estimated that the South Korean won has accounted for about 10% of fiat to bitcoin trades.

South Korean regulators have had an especially tumultous relationship with cryptocurrencies, with protests, allegations of insider trading, rumours of crackdowns and other difficulties.


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