Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has urged South Korean regulators to remove restrictive blockchain industry laws in a recent visit to the Asian tech powerhouse.

Buterin was speaking to South Korean parliament members in a hope to overturn the government’s current stance which currently favors blockchain over Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, by its banning of ICOs.

The Ethereum Canadian-Russian crypto entrepreneur was quick to point out that separating the two key aspects of the burgeoning tech and payments industry wasn’t feasible due to their interdependence. He also explained that ICOs have moved considerably since the early days of cryptocurrency and scams are now rare, adding “ICOs have certainly improved, and will continue to improve in the future”. He argued:

“Blockchain is a technology that can be run without cryptocurrencies, but there is no crypto without blockchain. Public blockchains rely heavily on cryptography. Therefore, cryptocurrencies are absolutely necessary.”

The initial banning of ICOs in South Korea was implemented by President Moon Jae-in. also removing generous tax breaks for crypto businesses after a number of high-profile crypto scams. The approach has impacted the industry in the country which has largely flourished despite prohibitive government intervention and legislation.

Last year, Chin Dae-je, chairman of the Korean Blockchain Association, made a strong case for legalizing ICOs, suggesting that they offered a way creating new jobs, boosting the economy and producing innovative world-leading blockchain startups in the country, commenting:

“The government should implement guidelines to nurture the domestic blockchain industry, which will help Korea emerge as a global industry leader… Startups who comply with guidelines should be allowed to launch ICOs.”

Both Buterin and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian agree with these sentiments as cryptocurrency emerges from what it calls a “crypto winter”, suggesting that a purge of bad actors and scams over this period is creating a much healthier crypto environment. Ohanian said:

“The speculators have fled and that’s great. Because the people who are now building on crypto are true believers. They’re actually building the infrastructure that it’s going to take to really make this happen.”

 

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