Categories: ICO

South Korea to Take Final Decision on ICOs in November, Says Top-level Official

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Photo: Republic of Korea / Flickr

As it was reported by South Korean local business newspaper The Investor, the country’s authorities are planning to reveal their official attitude to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in November 2018. The topic was extensively discussed by South Korean top-officials on a meeting held today, October 11.

The authorities have already held several discussions related to the possible allowance of ICOs withing the country in the recent months, but the final decision still stays unclear. The main financial agency of South Korea, the Financial Services Commission (FSC), has been analysing the problem since September. On the basement of all the surveys being conducted, the conclusion is soon to come.

According to the head of the office for Government Policy Coordination, Hong Nam-ki:

“We are going to form the position of the government in November based on the results of the investigation at the end of October.”

Jeon Haecheol, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party, stays very positive to the allowance of ICOs. On a recent meeting, he expressed his support, saying that blockchain industry is starving for further development, and ICO ban, which is still current in South Korea, hampers this development greately:

“If we waste time, the blockchain industry could face huge difficulties. We need to look at very realistic and specific ways to nurture the blockchain industry, and I think permitting ICOs is one of them.”

But not all the officials share this view. Choi Jong-ku, the FSC Chairman, underlined that despite all the requests from blockchain community, the government will stick to its current policy for the reason of multiple uncertainties and frauds related to fundraising activities:

“Although many people call for the government to allow initial coin offerings, there are still uncertainties related to such a move as well as the possibility of serious fallouts.”

South Korea first banned ICOs in September 2017. This prohibition was aimid to prevent financial scams and was applied to all forms of virtual currencies. In March 2017, the FSC was about to allow ICOs within the country, but the expectations of crypto enthusiasts have not been met. On the opposite, in July this year, the FSC strengthened its regulations for crypto-exchanges by implementing new anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer rules.

In August, Korea’s government considered reallowing ICOs in a bid to create its own “blockchain island” based in Jeju Island Resort. The povince can become some kind of a special zone for the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector, but the idea has not been approved yet. According to the governor Won Hee-ryong, once the project is approved, the self-governing province would go on to legalize ICOs.

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