South Korea’s National Assembly calls for ICO reform
There is an aim to establish a healthy cryptocurrency trading environment and re-permit ICO platforms.
South Korea has upheld a ban on domestic initial coin offerings (ICOs) since late last year but the national legislature may consider dismantling this injunction and implementing more rigorous consumer protections.
In September last year, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) prohibited all forms of blockchain funding and ICOs in the country, as well as margin trading of all digital currencies.
The Special Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution under South Korea’s National Assembly announced an official recommendation to lift the nationwide ICO ban following the latest general meeting on May 28.
The committee consists of 25 private sector members and five government officials and is tasked with revolutionizing the nation’s industrial sector, replacing existing physical systems with emerging technologies.
Business Korea initially reported the declaration, adding that domestic blockchain companies were moving to places like Singapore and Switzerland to carry out ICOs, incurring extra risk and paying unnecessary expenses.
We need to form a task force including private experts in order to improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order. 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.
Special Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution on ICO reform
Government discussions around the easing of restrictions have been occurring since early May, however no moves have been made to present any concrete ICO guidelines or operating policies.
The mayor of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, wants the city to support blockchain projects and plans to create a cryptocurrency that provides “economic benefits to citizens”, according to a report released last month. The new coin may work in conjunction with Seoul’s eco-mileage system that provides benefits to citizens who save electricity, water and gas. It may also be applied to youth allowance, jobs support and welfare schemes.
In January, there were rumors that the South Korean government was planning to enforce corporate tax policy on local cryptocurrency exchanges from the end of March. Following this, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission released anti-money laundering guidelines with the underlying goal of only allowing accounts with a users’ real name to be used for cryptocurrency trading. Additionally, the communications regulator fined eight domestic crypto exchanges for having “very weak” personal information protection policies.
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