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South Korea has a change of heart on their ICO stance – parliamentarians want to overturn ICO ban


Since the end of 2017, South Korea – like China – has had a ban on initial coin offerings. An initiative from the South Korean parliament is now about to overturn this ban. The reason given by MEPs is that they see the development of blockchain technology hindered by the ICO ban.

Older investors will remember that September 2017 was not a good month for the crypto economy. This was mainly due to the People’s Republic of China, which initially banned all initial coin offerings in the country and shortly afterwards also expelled the country’s crypto exchanges. Almost in the slipstream of its big neighbour, South Korea also put some chains on the domestic crypto economy and for its part issued a ban on Initial Coin Offerings.

Parliamentarians host Blockchain Forum

Now, however, the ICO ban could start to waver. According to the Korean newspaper “Business Korea”, two members of the Korean National Assembly have joined forces. Their goal is to lift the ban, as they have identified it as harmful to the domestic blockchain economy.

Min Byung-doo and Roh Woong-rae are members of President Moon Jae-in’s social-liberal Deobureo-minju Party. Thus the two parliamentarians belong to the camp of the ruling party. Both hosted a blockchain forum in the parliamentary library this week. The three Korean interest groups Korea Blockchain Industry Association, Korea Blockchain Industry Promotion Association and Open Blockchain Industry Association also supported the event.

ICO ban harms Blockchain adoption

During the event, the two MEPs spoke out clearly in favour of an end to the ICO ban and a further opening of the country to crypto currencies. For a year now, the government has done nothing for the growth of the blockchain sector, which is detrimental to its competitiveness. The South Korean blockchain technology has dropped to 75 percent of the US level.

“Since blockchain and crypto currencies have advantages and disadvantages, only self-confident governments can deal with them properly. Singapore, Switzerland and France are examples of this. These countries have cleared the way for regulated ICOs,

so Min Byung-doo.

“After the government has banned ICOs, blockchain start-ups are going abroad. There is growing concern that government regulations are stifling the growth of the blockchain industry, a key sector of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,

adds Roh Woong-rae.

Together, they now want to introduce a draft law in parliament that urges the government to relax the ICO ban. One proposal is for the government to set up a working group to investigate the possibilities of crypto currencies and ICOs. A public hearing is planned for November.