South Korean regulator dies suddenly

A South Korean government official who was responsible for regulating cryptocurrencies, has been found dead.

52-year-old Head of the Economic Policy Coordination Office, Jung Ki-joon, was found in his home after having died suddenly.

Ki-joon is believed to have suffered a heart attack while sleeping on Saturday night at his home in Seoul.

His body was discovered by his family when they went to wake him up on Sunday morning.

Police have been unable to confirm the exact cause of death.

Investigators are awaiting a report from the coroner’s office.

South Korean regulations

Jung Ki-joon was leading the South Korean government’s recent crackdown on the cryptocurrency industry toward the end of last year.

In January this year, S Korea introduced a whole host of new legislation designed to regulate cryptocurrencies.

The country implemented a ban on anonymous trading aimed at reducing possible criminal activity.

Mr. Jung’s role was to coordinate the opinions on cryptocurrency regulations from different ministries and departments within the government.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)

The value of Bitcoin and most other cryptos plummeted as concerns about stricter regulations spread.

The leading virtual currency’s value hit an all-time high of $19,535.70 on December 17 last year.

It then fell to as low as just $10,035 on January 30, however, before plummeting to under $6000 in early February.

Values have since recovered, although the price drop was mainly attributed to the South Korean regulation fears.

Jung Ki-joon's proposed measures were cited as the reason for the drop in prices for Bitcoin
Jung Ki-joon’s proposed measures were cited as the reason for the drop in prices for Bitcoin

Controversial measures

Mr. Jung admitted, in a controversial announcement, that the government was considering a law to shut down all the nation’s cryptocurrency exchanges.

In a statement to the press, he said:

“The proposed shutdown of exchanges that the justice minister mentioned recently is one of the measures suggested by the justice ministry to curb speculation.”

Officials within the South Korean government announced towards the end of last year that they would undergo an extended period of consideration.

They said they wanted to assess the perceived threats that digital assets could pose to national economic stability.

Jung Ki-joon colleagues have claimed that stress may have been a contributing factor to his death, according to reports.

South Korea is one of the first countries to introduce regulations for cryptocurrencies.

These new measures prompted fears that other countries would follow suit.

Regulation fears have since subsided, however, and cryptos have seen a healthy recovery in the last week.