Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and cryptocurrencies in general have had a rocky relationship with the South Korean government. In order to clarify their stance, the National Assembly committee had come together on October 10, 2018, to clear the air on South Korea’s cryptocurrency policies. The results should be announced in November of this year.
Currently, the South Korean government have held an oppositional stance concerning ICOs. This may change as the country is exploring the idea to re-legalize the fundraising practice. This topic is becoming a pressing issue as South Korean lawmakers have joined together to open discussions on legalizing ICOs last week. Speaking on the subject, chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, Hong Nam-Ki commented:
“We have had several discussions (on ICOs). Once the survey results are in by end-October, we plan to finalize the government’s stance. We surveyed as some companies are conducting or preparing for ICOs despite the ban here.”
Democratic Party, South Korea’s ruling party, legislators Min Byung-doo hosted a blockchain forum at the National Assembly library, detailing the benefits that Switzerland and Singapore have seen from ICOs.
Min commented on the importance of ICOs and how it takes a strong and decisive government to exploit the benefits and minimize the negative aspects of blockchain and cryptocurrency. He claims that South Korea’s ban on ICOs have hampered the country. As works for the ban to be dissolved, he also wants to change the outlook of the nascent industry’s concerns regarding money laundering and the finance of terrorism.
While there has been vocal support of ICOs by both government officials and private citizens, the fact that statistically nearly 80% of ICOs turn out to be fraudulent may be enough for South Korea to keep the ban in place.