According to local news agency Business Korea, the South Korean National Assembly has made an official proposal to allow ICOs to operate within the country.
The South Korean population may be relatively low, numbering around 50 million people, but it is so enthusiastic about cryptocurrency that developments there have an outsized influence. Rumours of a Korean ban on cryptocurrency trading put an end to the last great crypto bull run: when South Korea sneezes, the whole crypto world catches a cold.
The fervour of the South Korean people is not matched by their government, however, who, fearing destabilisation of the economy, have so far been cautious when faced with a rapidly developing blockchain-inspired token economy. ICOs were banned in September of 2017, leading many South Korean startups to conduct their offerings through other territories like Hong Kong or Singapore.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution”
Legislators are now suggesting that if ICOs are going to happen anyway, investors are best protected by reversing the ban and instituting a regulatory framework.
A National Assembly special committee on “the fourth industrial revolution” has reported that “we need to form a task force including private experts in order to improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order”.
In addition, there needs to be a new committee to “systematically make blockchain policy and efficiently provide industrial support.” They will also “… establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs.”
Earlier this month South Korean legislators opened up the possibility of a partial reversal of the ban, calling for “public organizations and research centers committed to promoting and developing blockchain technology” to be allowed to conduct token offerings.