Watchdog Staffer Used Inside Info for Bitcoin Speculation

  • By Yoon Hyung-jun

    January 19, 2018 11:20

    A Financial Supervisory Service staffer made a 50-percent profit by selling off all of his Bitcoin holdings two days before the government announced a crackdown on the virtual currency last month.

    The staffer worked in the department that oversees policies on cryptocurrencies.

    The government said the crime is an isolated case involving only one or two public servants, but it has deepened distrust of regulatory officials among Bitcoin investors.

    Financial Supervisory Service Governor Choe Heung-sik told an emergency meeting at the National Assembly on Thursday that the watchdog was "informed of the incident and an investigation is taking place."

    According to the FSS, the staffer sold off most of his cryptocurrency holdings on Dec. 11, two days before the government announced tougher regulatory steps that sent the price plummeting.

    He apparently had invested W13 million in Bitcoin since July and made a W7 million profit in the last days of the boom (US$1=W1,072).

    Financial Services Commission Chairman Choi Jong-ku, whose office is investigating, said there "isn't a huge possibility" that the staffer sold off his holdings because he anticipated the plunge "instinctively."

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