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South Korea’s National Assembly Proposes to Lift ICO Ban

South Korea's National Assembly Proposes to Lift ICO Ban

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South Korea’s National Assembly has made official proposals to allow for domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) to be legalized, roughly eight months after the country banned all ICOs in September 2017.

South Korea has proven itself it be a fertile land for blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption; it is home to some of the largest exchanges in the world as well as the progressive visions for blockchain technologies to become a mainstay in South Korea’s capital city.

However, since the September 2017 ban, the country’s government has been sweeping the issue of ICOs under the carpet, but it is apparent that now that such significant advances have been made, it is about time the topic of ICOs comes to the forefront.

Ongoing developments

In early May, Bitcoin News reported that key governmental figures were banding together to draft a bill to lift the ban. A particular reason for the move was due to the fact that South Korean companies are raising their funds overseas in friendlier jurisdictions such as Switzerland and Singapore; it is not only costly for the companies themselves but also presents risks to investors who may fall victim to scam ICOs impersonating leading companies.

According to a report by Business Korea on 29 May , the special committee on the fourth industrial revolution went as far as to accuse the government of “neglecting its duty” in its slow response to the expansion of the blockchain industry.

The committee is also calling for a task force made up of both public officials and private experts to “improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order”.

Ban reversal

Business Korea also reports that the special committee on the fourth industrial revolution also said, “We need to form a task force including private experts in order to improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order”.

It continued, “The administration also needs to consider setting up a new committee and building governance systems at its level in a bid to systematically make blockchain policy and efficiently provide industrial support. We will also establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee.”

The timely news arrives as proactive stances on regulation, and taxation frameworks in South Korea begin to set standards for the rest of the world. Additionally, the Business Korea report suggests that now discussions on blockchain and ICOs between the National Assembly and government will “accelerate”, which spells great news for domestic blockchain and cryptocurrency startups, not to mention the entire global industry.


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