South Korean Officials Reveal Plans to Reverse ICO Ban


Members of a South Korean National Assembly committee revealed plans to reverse the country’s ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), in place since September 2017.

According to a report published in Business Korea on May 29, the South Korean National Assembly, the country’s unicameral national legislature, put forward an “official proposal” to the government aimed at making ICOs legal once more at a meeting on May 28.

As we reported in April, South Korea’s top financial authority, the Financial Services Commission (FSN), had allegedly been considering lifting the ban. However, the effort has much more momentum now that it has reached the national legislature.

Since South Korea enacted the ban in September 2017, many South Korean ICOs have circumvented it by conducting their token offerings on foreign territory such as Switzerland and Singapore, raising millions of dollars in the process. Opponents of the country’s ICO ban argue that South Korea is missing out on massive amounts of capital that would enter the country, as well as the creation of sophisticated companies and jobs.

The National Assembly committee proposed forming a task force to “improve the transparency of cryptocurrency trading,” “establish a healthy trade order,” build “governance systems,” “systematically make blockchain policy,” and “provide industry support.”

According to the committee’s statement, the ultimate aim of the proposal is to “establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission for ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee.”

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