South Korean Bill to Legalize ICOs in Pipeline

Ruling Democratic Party member Hong Eui-rak and 10 other legislators have joined together to draft a bill, which if passed, would legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs) in South Korea.

Since last September’s government ban, when South Korean regulators expressed “serious concern” about markets being pushed towards nonproductive speculation, there have been numerous calls for the government to legalize ICOs. Since then, many South Korean companies have raised their funds through ICOs overseas.

Park Sung-joon, head of the Blockchain Research Center at Seoul’s Dongguk University is one that wants to see the ban lifted:

“An ICO is banned only in South Korea and China. The government said it will make a 14 billion [Korean] won (KRW or USD 13.15 million) investment to promote the technology but it is a ridiculously small amount of money considering the fact that other countries are seeking to research and develop the technology by raising hundreds of millions of won through an ICO.”

Hong Eui-rak spoke this week at an ICO and blockchain forum at South Korea’s Nation Assembly and suggested that his bill would be aimed at legalizing ICOs, but with government supervision. If the bill were passed ICOs would come under strict guidelines set by the FSC and the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Party member Hong said that they had based the bill on research conducted between his office and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) and reiterated that last years’ government concerns could be addressed by more clarity: “The primary goal (of the legislation) is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses.”

Chung Sye-kyun, a speaker from the National Assembly also voiced a similar opinion: “Blockchain and cryptos can be used in various public sectors for good causes. Given their potential, we need to work to help reduce political uncertainties they face.”

Despite rumors in March that the South Korean government had plans to lift the ban on ICOs, this bill, if it is presented, will be the first of its kind to challenge the government at parliamentary level.

image source: https://pixabay.com/en/bitcoin-mining-processor-3369039/ – TheDigitalArtist

 

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