South Korean Regulators Deserting Jobs for Posts in Crypto, Fintech and Finance


South Korea’s regulatory environment continues to become more complex for crypto companies, and a growing number of South Korean regulators are leaving their jobs to work with fintech, such as crypto platforms.

According Maeil KYUNGJAE, a job as a regulator was once considered a high-paying position, with offices that were once called the “offices of the gods” by South Koreans. In recent years, however, many are turning their backs and listening to headhunter agencies that seek their expertise.

According to the media outlet, at least 28 people have left their jobs at organizations like the Financial Supervision Service (FSS), this year.

The newspaper cited data from the National Assembly’s Political Affairs Committee. It reported that two high-ranking (executive) workers quit the FSS to take up other positions this year. Also, three high-ranking managers, eleven mid-level managers and nine junior employees were among the departed.

The committee revealed that one third of the 84 individuals who quit the service in February 2017 were employed immediately elsewhere – effectively, poached from the private sector.

FSS staff are finding it attractive to work in the crypto and fintech worlds. This year, senior members of the service’s fintech department as well as financial education department joined crypto operators and the fintech giant Kao Pay.

Many ex-FSS employees have also joined the traditional financial industry. They work for conglomerates such as Samsung or Hyundai. FSS workers have also found employment opportunities in the legal sector.

MPs condemned the attempt of an FSS deputy bureau chief to join the market-leading cryptocurrency exchange Upbit in April. They stated that such moves could “blunt the edge” and warned that there may be “strong connections” between regulatory agencies and crypto industry firms that could lead to damage to South Korean society.

The FSS is not the only body charged with overseeing crypto and blockchain sector security. It has also been involved in policy-making decisions.

This isn’t the only FSS that has experienced staff loss. A high-ranking prosecutor from the Ministry of Justice was stopped in April by a member of an unnamed crypto-exchange. ended up losing his job.

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