Another major political leader has come out as a crypto enthusiast – as the new leader of the biggest South Korean opposition party has admitted to trading tokens “for fun.”
Lee Jun-seok, aged just 36, stunned the political world last week when he won the leadership election for the post of chair of the People Power Party, becoming the youngest ever leader of the right-wing party. A Harvard graduate in Economics and Computer Science, he is also a tech entrepreneur and the founder of the Edushare startup.
Known as the “voice of the Millennials” within a party usually dominated by older males, Lee unexpectedly shed light on his crypto trading past.
Per Edaily, Lee told the host of a news podcast that he had “tried” crypto trading – although he stopped short of revealing the names of the tokens he had traded and how much money he had made from the endeavor.
Regardless, he was quoted as stating:
“I made enough money to fund three or four election campaigns by investing in cryptocurrency. But these days [crypto prices] have fallen a lot.”
And it look likes Lee’s interest in crypto was not purely recreational, despite his protests that his trading was “for fun.”
“I used to be a programmer, so I was able to create an automated cryptocurrency investment program,” he said.
Last month, Lee admitted on Facebook that he was engaging in “a little token investment.”
Reporters have pressed Lee for more details about his trading – and in particular the size of his earnings. He answered that his profits were “not in the USD millions or tens of millions.”
Asked if his profits were under USD 1m, Lee laughed and suggested that this was the case.
However, as election campaigns typically cost up to USD 180,000 – per Lee’s own reckoning – his earnings could be calculated as amounting to anywhere between USD 500,000 and USD 750,000, if his own estimates are accurate.
He stopped short of recommending citizens take up his hobby, however, noting that crypto is “highly volatile.”
Lee is unlikely to run for the presidency next year in elections to be held in the first half of 2022. But he could become the party’s kingmaker. One of the leading candidates for the People Power nomination is Won Hee-ryong, the governor of Jeju Island.
Won this year admitted to dabbling in crypto himself – and has previously sought to seek legal ways to get around the government’s blanket ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The party, meanwhile, has become aware of the growing role crypto is likely to play in next year’s elections, and has recently formed a crypto taskforce, staffed with tech and policy experts.
– Tell Us the Altcoins You Want to Delist, Regulator Orders Korean Exchanges
– Understanding What Turned El Salvador’s President Bukele on to Bitcoin