According to a South Korean parliamentarian, the information that the national government will not close the crypto-exchanges was published 40 minutes after its announcement to journalists, which made it possible to use it for personal enrichment purposes.

The South Korean government announced last week that it did not plan to close crypto-exchanges in the near future. Information about this decision of the South Korean authorities was sent to journalists at 9.00 am but was made public only after 40 minutes because of the embargo agreement. 40 minutes after the announcement, the bitcoin rate rose by 2%, from 19.1 million won to 19.46 million won, and an hour after the announcement rose by 5%, to 19.9 million won, said the member of the South Korean parliament, Ha Tae-Keung in the National Assembly.

The embargo is a common practice among journalists of many countries. When information is received by all journalists simultaneously, they agree on a specific time for news release. Thus, journalists and other recipients of a message from the government had 40 minutes to buy cryptocurrencies at a low price, as the market at that time was in a state of decline due to fears that South Korea could ban crypto-exchanges.

“After the government sent text messages informing reporters of the impending announcement [which was not disclosed to the public], the market began to rally. When the press began reporting the announcement at 9:40 a.m. it already had reached a high price point,” said the lawmaker.

According to him, such information was supposed to be kept in secret and to be published without embargo, as it influenced the value of assets of a large number of persons.

Public officials will have to declare their investments in cryptocurrencies, according to a new bill introduced in the South Korean parliament. The bill amends the current Public Service Ethics Act and requires public officials to declare their cryptocurrency holdings worth more than 10 million won ($9,350). Providing false information could be punished by a penalty and disciplinary action, Chung Dong-yong, a member of the South Korean National Assembly’s Administrative and Security Committee, believes, without elaborating details on such punishments.