End of the ICO Ban In South Korea?

Dawid Paluch
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Since last September, Initial Coin Offering has been banned in South Korea. The ICOs were portrayed as a form of fraud. The Minjoo Party of Korea (also known as the Democratic Party), the ruling party in the Asian country, is more eager to change the law and to end the ban.

Earlier this month, we reported on ICOs in South Korea. Back then, Financial Services Commission, the Korean financial regulator, said that ban on ICOs still stands. However, that may change in near future.

ICOs should be permitted

The ruling party thought on Initial Coin Offering was that it is some kind of scheme or gambling. So, the Minjoo Party banned the investment vehicle last September. As a resulted domestic blockchain startups criticized the prohibition.

There may be a change of course, though. The opposition party is advocating for the legalization of ICOs. The government has a lot of economic problems, including a decline in employment and an escalation of housing prices. So, to please some critics, the ruling party may change its opinion on ICOs.

Min Byung-doo, a member of the Democratic Party, has spoken out in favor of the startup investment. The politician is the first representative of the part who said that ICOs should be permitted. He’s not only the member, but he is also the Chairman of the National Policy Committee (NPC).

In an interview with CoinDesk, the lawmaker had a few interesting opinions on ICOs, cryptocurrency and blockchain. He said:

“Over the last two years, the total funds raised through ICOs were far higher than the figures for venture capital. The trend is changing. All around the world, people are applying for blockchain-related patents and trying to come up with new business models.”

Byung-doo also mentioned that a number of countries including Estonia, Malta, Singapore and Switzerland tried to regulate the ICOs in recent past. It means that many countries see potential in the coin offering.

Not everybody on board

The politician responded to the reports that the Financial Services Commission (FSC) remains opposed to ICOs. “If Korea’s blockchain industry fails to develop because of this [ban on ICOs], the government should be held accountable,” he said.

Min Byung-doo is firmly committed to the case and this may help to regulate ICOs. It’s not only up to him, though. There is the FSC which has a strong influence on this topic. There are also The Office for Government Policy Coordination (OGPC) and the whole National Policy Committee which have a lot to say in the ICO argument.

The lawmaker believes that the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry has to be regulated, yet on the other hand it has potential and could be an opportunity for development.

Image by Efired / Shutterstock.com

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