The National Assembly of South Korea made an official proposal on May 29 to allow initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country.
Business Korea reported that the National Assembly, a 300-member legislature, suggested a new proposal to remove the national ICO ban and allow domestic ICOs under the condition that they adhere to investor protection provisions.
South Korea has had a rocky relationship with the cryptocurrency industry in the past. It’s almost been eight months since its ICO blanket ban kicked off in September 2017. South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) previously mentioned that ICOs were a “violation of the capital market law” and quickly underwent an “intensive crackdown,” issuing “stern penalties” to any party involved with ICOs.
The South Korean blockchain and cryptocurrency community are eager to see if the discussion concerning ICOs and blockchain technology between the National Assembly and the South Korean government will move forward.
The online cryptocurrency community has expressed their excitement regarding the news. Reddit user spooklordpoo believes that the news is “absolutely amazing not just for lCX but for Korea and all of crypto. May China follow suit!” User Djmftrw also commented that “it won’t take long after for Korea to become the crypto Hotpot we’ve been talking about for so long. Now is [a] great time to accumulate before the fire truly gets lit.”
National Assembly Accuses the Government of Neglecting Its Duties
The National Assembly’s special committee decided on the policy proposal concerning the ICO ban at a general meeting held during the 4th Industrial Revolution. They also noted that the South Korean government is neglecting its duty of introducing regulatory reforms to expand blockchain applications.
“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 special committee said.
“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.”
Unlike South Korea, China Remains Strict on Cryptos
Reuters reported on April 23 that, unlike South Korea, China remains increasingly strict on their cryptocurrency and ICO policies as it continues to crack down on any form of illegal fundraising, which includes ICOs. The People’s Bank of China also mentioned any platform that facilitated ICOs and the exchanging of cryptocurrencies had been effectively shut down.
Despite China’s hostility towards cryptocurrencies, it is extremely welcoming towards blockchain technology. Econotimes reported that Li Ying, who is the head of the Information Technology Ministry’s Information and Software Department, stated during the 2018 Guiyang Big Data Expo that they:
“have been working closely with the ISO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). We should soon have our national technical committee for blockchain standardization ready within this year.”
Furthermore, Xinhuanet suggested that even Chinese president Xi Jinping appears to have embraced the emerging technology. At the annual academic conference by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi stated that blockchain technology is an important component of the new technological revolution that China should leverage if they are looking to thrive in the international economy.