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  • Andre Yunque

Official Who Guided Korea’s Crypto Crackdown Found Dead at Home

Jung Ki-joon, who helped coordinate South Korea’s recent cryptocurrency crackdown, was found dead at his home, the Wall Street Journal reports:

A South Korean official who guided Seoul’s regulatory clampdown on cryptocurrencies was found dead on Sunday, according to a government spokesman.

Jung Ki-joon, 52, was head of economic policy at the Office for Government Policy Coordination. He helped coordinate efforts to create new legislation aimed at suppressing cryptocurrency speculation and illicit activity, the spokesman said.

A government spokesman said that Jung died “from some unknown cause,” adding that he passed away in his sleep and that he was found at home. Yonhap, a semi-official news agency, surmised that the economic policy head died of a heart attack. Either way, police have opened an investigation into his death. Jung’s colleagues claim that he was under heavy stress as the country moved to suppress cryptocurrency speculation.

South Korea was a major cryptocurrency trading hotspot prior to the government clampdown. After the dollar, the South Korean won was the most widely-used currency to trade bitcoin, taking up to 4.5% of all bitcoin transactions in 2017. It was also “the second-most commonly used currency for trading some alternative cryptocurrencies, including ether and Bitcoin Cash, which is a bitcoin rival.”

Last month, Jung called virtual currencies such as ether and its ilk not “a form of legal currency,” continuing that the South Korean government would “strongly respond to excessive cryptocurrency speculation and illegal activity.”

Photo: Fredrik Rubensson

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