South Korea to Declare Its Stand on ICO Legality in November, Top Official Says

Article by · October 11, 2018 ·

A decision will be made in November by the government of South Korea on whether it will permit initial coin offerings (ICOs) again in the country, according to report by a top-level official.

The head of the office for government policy coordination, Hong Nam-ki, informed the lawmakers while the National Assembly’s annual audit on government actions was ongoing that the topic is being reviewed in recent months by regulators in the country , as was reported on Thursday.

Hong further stated research ICOs is ongoing by the Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korea’s markets watchdog, since September.

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

Hong was providing answers to the question on ICO permission brought up by a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party, Jeon Haecheol, who expressed his support for terminating the present ICO restriction.

While the questioning was ongoing, Jeon stated that:

“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.”

According to a news report from Yonhap, the chairman of the FSC, Choi Jong-gu, expressed his worries again in a sitting today against the idea of permitting ICOs.

“Many people say ICOs should be allowed, but … uncertainty remains, and the damage is too serious and obvious,” he was cited as saying.

A ban on domestic ICOs was issued in Sept. last year by the FSC, after a similar decision was made by the lawmakers in China. Notwithstanding, Hong confirmed that some crypto projects were still selling tokens to domestic citizens by registering their businesses abroad.

Regulators from the National Assembly, the country’s legislative arm, seek for the lifting of the ICO restriction in May. As of last month, there was a report that the FSC was researching token sales projects with a questionnaire asking information on deep details of project as part of its commitment to look into the issue of the ICO restriction.

Hong stated somewhere else in his remarks that he second to the government’s commitment to backing blockchain development with a government budget of 34 billion won ($30 million) in the the years to come.


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