Public officials in South Korea are increasingly choosing career opportunities in the cryptocurrency field. Local media quoted a South Korean lawmaker’s findings that some of them came from financial authorities and raised ethical issues.

Former financial officer hired by major Korean exchanges

Roh Woong-rae, a member of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, said that more and more Seoul officials are resigning from the government and turning to the crypto industry. On Sunday, he called for stricter rules on their employment after they leave.

The Korea Herald quoted lawmakers as saying that a Level 5 employee of the Financial Services Commission (Financial Services Center), recently resigned and joined bitmap, This is one of the leading digital asset exchanges in South Korea.

Roh acknowledged that current regulations do not restrict such employment. At the same time, he believes that it is very inappropriate for a former FSC official to directly join an encryption company supervised by the regulatory agency he works for.

Korean government officials are graded according to their seniority, with the first level being the highest level. Currently, only FSC and another major regulatory agency, Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) level 4 and above officials are required to undergo employment screening before entering a private company.

According to the “Public Service Ethics Act”, government employees above level 4 are not allowed to hold positions in the private sector related to their previous work within three years from the date of leaving the state agency. Noh added that South Korea’s antitrust regulator, the Fair Trade Commission, will review the employment status of all officials at level 7 and above.

However, lawmakers slammed the Public Service Ethics Committee, which conducts employment screening, for not thoroughly reviewing all cases. He cited an example of a senior FSS official who was in charge of the financial technology field before finding a new job at Upbit, another large cryptocurrency exchange in South Korea.

Representative Roh Woong-rae pointed out that the Ethics Committee did not find any problems with this move. But in his view, it is difficult to understand the results of the screening because officials are involved in matters closely related to digital assets.

Members commented that such cases are not limited to financial regulators. He further revealed that a police officer from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, who leads a team investigating crypto-related crimes, is now also preparing to join Upbit. “It is very unethical to recruit former and current personnel from the FSC and police responsible for supervision, because they are more likely to act as shields than experts,” Roh commented.

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