South Korean legislators are working on reversing the country’s ICO ban with the hope that token offerings will be legalised by the end of this year, at least for certain kinds of company.
That is according to the Korea Times who are reporting that Democratic Party Representative Hong Eui-rak, supported by ten other legislators, is driving a bill which will open up South Korea to ICOs once more.
The bill grew out of a study conducted on the ICO space by Hong’s office and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). If successful the first legal ICOs are expected before the end of 2018.
South Korea banned ICOs in September 2017 and ever since there has been tension between the government and a section of the business community frustrated by the government’s blanket ban approach. Much of that community has simply continued to explore the ICO option but from other territories, like Japan or Singapore.
Addressing a National Assembly forum focused on the ICO question, Hong said that he was not looking for a free-for-all, but instead wanted to legalise some ICOs “under the government supervision.” Oversight would come from both the Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Science and ICT.
According to Hong, the legislation is aimed at “helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses,” though not just any ICO will be allowed through. Currently “public organizations and research centers committed to promoting and developing blockchain technology” will be favoured.
National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun echoed the need to promote blockchain solutions which acted in the public interest. This technology “can be used in various public sectors for beneficial ends,” he said, and “given their potential, we need to work to help reduce political uncertainties they face.”
Any passing of the bill would be a hugely positive sign for the ICO world. The South Korean population has shown an enormous appetite for all things blockchain; if some accommodation is reached for ICOs, the more general effect within both the blockchain and crypto technology markets will likely be huge.