South Korean Cryptocurrency Official Found Dead

A South Korean official responsible for cryptocurrency has been found dead in his home. The body of Jung Ki-joon, who headed economic policy coordination at the Office for Government Policy Coordination in South Korea, was discovered at the former regulator’s home during the early hours of Sunday, February 19th. Jung is believed to have died from a heart attack in his sleep, likely from an “unknown cause.”

Job Stress Too High?

Jung’s colleagues claimed stress and “pressure from crypto-related duties” led to his unexpected and untimely demise. South Korea’s continued rigmarole surrounding potential regulation policies have caused extensive bounces in both bitcoin’s price and overall market value, and it seems those behind the action have experienced their fair share of anxiety.

A government spokesman explained (perhaps obviously) that Jung’s “heart had already stopped beating when he was found dead.” The policymaker was only 52 when he transferred into the role late last year, and an investigation into his death has been opened, although foul play does not appear to be involved at this time.

Duties on the Job

While serving in his present position, Jung spent time working to suppress cryptocurrency speculation and limit fraudulent activity. He was involved in the development of new legislation designed for easy monitoring and regulation of bitcoin and cryptocurrency activities.

Additional tasks included coordinating opinions and ideas from several South Korean ministries to prepare for weekly meetings, many of which were led Hong Nam-ki, South Korea’s primary minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

Change in the Wind

Jung’s death comes at a time when South Korea’s attitude towards cryptocurrency seems to be changing.

Following a long period of threats to ban cryptocurrency exchanges and put a halt on digital asset trading, it now appears South Korea won’t be instilling such a ban anytime soon. Rather, all transactions deemed “normal” will be allowed to continue. For now, it appears only anonymous trades and initial coin offerings will cease.

South Korean traders have largely embraced cryptocurrency, accounting for over one-quarter of the world’s digital asset trades. Often, coins sell for much higher on South Korean exchanges due to cryptocurrency’s growing popularity.

The country is also leading an investigation into illegal foreign exchange transactions, after many (allegedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars in cryptocurrency) were discovered stemming from bank accounts in Australia.

The price of bitcoin has risen close to $12K following South Korea’s newfound “leniency.”

Could work-related stress have caused Jung Ki-joon’s death? Post your comments below.


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