South Korean Judges Hold Bitcoin and Altcoins, Disclosures Show

Several senior South Korean judges hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins, new public disclosure data revealed on March 28.

Per NoCut News, judges’ holdings up until December 31, 2023, included BTC, ETH, XRP, and Solana coins.

Trading volumes on South Korea’s market-leading Upbit crypto exchange over the past two weeks. (Source: CoinGecko)

South Korean Judges Make First Crypto Disclosures – the Details

A long-running scandal dubbed Coin Gate by the South Korean media broke last year. This initially centered on a lawmaker who reportedly sold coins after receiving insider information on forthcoming regulatory changes.

Since then, the scope of the scandal has expanded to other lawmakers. It has also expanded to senior civil servants and leading judiciary members.

This led the Supreme Court to rule that senior judges must make annual public declarations of their coin and other asset holdings to avoid possible conflicts of interest.

Judges’ declarations must also include spouses’ holdings. They must also include details of wallets held in their children’s names.

Cheongju District Court Chief Justice Lim Byeong-ryeol reported the most sizeable Bitcoin holdings. Lim and his family declared holding BTC 9.92, with BTC 3.38 in wallets under his name.

Lim’s spouse and eldest son hold the remaining BTC 6.54 in wallets in their names.

Lim’s spouse and son also reported holding smaller amounts of altcoins “such as Ethereum, Solana, and XRP” in private wallets.

Documents show that Seoul High Court Chief Justice Hwang Byeong-ha’s dependents also reported holding BTC 2.07.

Another Seoul High Court Chief Judge, Kim Bok-hyung, revealed crypto holdings worth some $2,200.

Meanwhile, Seoul Bankruptcy Court Chief Justice Ahn Byeong-wook and National Court Administration Deputy Director Bae Hyeong-won also revealed that wallets in their children’s name “also contained crypto holdings.”

The children of Supreme Court Justices Roh Tae-ak, Kwon Young-jun, and Shin Sook-hee also reported that they own cryptoassets, Joongang Ilbo reported.

Retail investors dump Tesla, snap up chip, Bitcoin ETFshttps://t.co/cWgy91U07z

— The Korea Times (@koreatimescokr) March 25, 2024

Judges Hold Unlisted Stocks, Crypto, and Overseas Shares

Judges were also obliged to reveal their total assets, with data showing that several judges hold unlisted domestic stocks, as well as overseas stocks.

The Bank of Korea warned a further slump in the real estate sector would undermine broader economic activity https://t.co/lEodSOifj6

— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) March 28, 2024

Senior South Korean judges seemed particularly keen on blue-chip US stocks. Several declared holding shares in companies like Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and Nvidia.

Earlier this month, a South Korean law firm operator was sent to jail for stealing clients’ money to spend on private crypto investments.

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