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South Korean Cryptocurrency Regulator Found Dead Amid Government Attemps To Reign Market

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A 52-year-old South Korean regulator, Jung Ki-Joon was found dead in his home on Sunday. He was leading the country's effort to get the country's cryptocurrency markets under control. Cryptocurrency is a lucrative trade in South Korea, recently the government is trying to implement a stricter regulation.

South Korea is having a hard time with cryptocurrencies.

Cause of Death

Jung Ki-Joon was in charge of economic policy for South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination. He was tasked with getting South Korea's cryptocurrency market. South Korean news agencies are reporting that Ki-Joon suffered a heart attack.

Police have opened an investigation into his death. He was reportedly found at his home. A spokesman for the government then said that he died from an unknown cause, adding that he passed away in his sleep and that his heart had already stopped when he was found.

His family found him in the morning when they went to wake him up for the day. Colleagues say that stress may have been a cause of death, explaining that he had been under pressure since taking charge of the office last year.

Police are awaiting the results from the coroner's to determine the official cause of death.

South Korea is one of the main hubs of the cryptocurrency trade in the world. It accounted for about 20 percent of the global trading activity.

Kimchi Premium

South Korean is adamant about controlling cryptocurrency. In January, South Korea made it illegal to use anonymous trading accounts to purchase cryptocurrency. Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon criticized cryptocurrency by suggesting that it could lead to mental illness.

At one point cryptocurrency traded at a higher rate than in the rest of the world. This was referred to as the kimchi premium. This premium grew to 51 percent in January. Due to regulation by South Korean authorities and drops in price, this premium is now gone and cryptocurrency in South Korea is trading at the same prices as the rest of the world.

South Korea carried enough sway in the cryptocurrency market that news of a possible ban sent markets plummeting. Its justice minister was drafting a bill in early January that would ban cryptocurrencies.

South Korea also sought to control the market by taxing earnings on gains. Its proposed tax rate would not go above 24.2 percent. More changes that have helped keep trading under control include banning cryptocurrency trading on exchanges. 

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