South Korean cryptocurrency regulator found dead
It’s been a turbulent time for South Korean cryptocurrency amidst government action over regulation and even a reputed ban. Now Jung Ki-joon, the head of economic policy at South Korea’s Office for Government Policy Coordination, has been found dead in his apartment, aged 52.
Foul play is not being considered by investigators, who are currently working with the assumption that the man – who played a key role in the tightening of procedure around token trading – suffered a heart attack while sleeping. “He died from some unknown cause. He passed away while he was sleeping and [his] heart [had] already stopped beating when he was found dead,” said a government spokesman, quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
Ki-joon was said to be under immense pressure as one of the central figures in the controversial action taken my South Korea to outright ban cryptocurrency trading by anonymous trading accounts. According to Yohap News, “his colleagues apparently raised the possibility of stress as what may have led to his unexpected death. They said he had been under a lot of pressure since taking charge of the counter-cyber money team at the office late last year.”
The controls have been loosened of late, with the government dialling back a bit on their hard stance on South Korean cryptocurrency. Instead, they are considering implementing a licensing system which would allow trading under regulations like minimum capital or currency control. The investing community didn’t react well to the threat of an outright ban, with prices dramatically dropping in Bitcoin.
Prices have stabilised since then though, and the sell-off panic seems to subsided for now. Bitcoin has risen back to the $11k mark, but still has plenty of work to do before it gets back to its all-time peak of $20k back at the end of 2017.