A new legal study group calling itself Blockchain Law Society is preparing to launch this week in South Korea.

A new cog in the machine

Local media outlet Yonhap News has reported that a number of South Korean blockchain experts have established what will be called the Blockchain Law Society. This new entity is built with the aims of advancing legal proceedings and study surrounding the technology.

The organization said in a press release, “Blockchain Law Society was founded not only to study blockchain technology from a legal aspect but to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between diverse areas, such as economics, computer engineering (and) field business.”

The society also stated that it will be inviting a number of experts such as judges, prosecutors, lawyers, professors and other prominent industry members.

Legislative progress

2018 is proving to be an expeditious year for blockchain technology in South Korea. News surrounding the adoption of the technology, classification of cryptocurrencies, evolving stances on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), as well as industry regulations and laws have consistently been flowing from the blockchain-adoring nation.

One of the most significant challenges that the nation is tackling is the law facet of the industry. It was in mid-July that the South Korean parties were submitting draft bills over a two-week period. This was in a bid to at least generate institutional and governmental discussion and at best, to actually implement legislation which will finally establish a legal consensus.

However, it was reported that political parties remained “widely divided” regarding their stances on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

Not fast enough

The lack of clarification prompted Hong Seong-ki, head of the virtual currency response team for the nation’s Financial Services Commission (FSC), to publicly urge lawmakers in South Korea to pass the first cryptocurrency bills.

Speaking with Bloomberg, he highlighted that there are not enough consumer protections in place for the rapidly growing markets. He also went on to describe security and anti-money laundering as being the most urgent matters on the table.

It is a widely-held view that investor protection and fraudulent activities will stifle blockchain innovations, industry growth and mass adoption. In August, the South Korea Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association (BEPA) applied more pressure on the government, making demands for regulators and lawmakers to again, “speed up” their efforts.

BEPA president Yoo Joon-sand argued that other countries around the world have already begun utilizing blockchain technology across multiple facets of their societies and that South Korean officials are focused on addressing “negative short-term side effects”, which he believes is a serious cause for concern.

On 24 August, the Blockchain Law Society will hold its official launch ceremony. Once formally established, the society could be the progressive tour de force that South Korean blockchain advocates are clamoring for.


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