Korean National Policy Committee Chief Wants Legal ICOs

ICO initial coin offering cryptocurrency blockchain

The chairman of South Korea’s National Policy Committee has called for a regulatory framework that would enable legal initial coin offerings, as a mechanism for harnessing the benefits of raising money on the blockchain.

According to reports emerging today, Min Byung-Doo of the country’s governing Democratic party said that as ICOs continue to grow in prominence worldwide, Korea should not see the “ICO door closed completely.”

The comments come in opposition to official Korean policy, which has been restrictive of cryptocurrency businesses, investors and initial coin offerings, including a ban on the latter since 2017 to protect against fraud risks.

However, discussing the need for a new framework for regulated initial coin offerings, Min Byung-Doo said that the state should act quickly to ensure Korea doesn’t get left behind.

The Korean government is reluctant to discuss new rules for ICOs, which Min flagged as one of the chief stumbling blocks. He said that any new legal regime would specify that “fraud, speculation and capital laundering must be strictly prohibited,” as well as including measures for industry self-regulation.

Citing some recent high-profile successes in the ICO space, Min said there was still scope to develop the blockchain industry in Korea.

“We can see that the flow of investment is clearly changing compared to ICO and angel fundraising. The ICO has raised $1.7 billion for Telegram and $4 billion for Block.one, it is getting bigger and bigger.

“Let the government, the National Assembly and the blockchain association quickly create a working group to block fraud, speculation, money laundering and develop the blockchain industry.”

Several bills have been presented to the Korean parliament since the government opted to ban ICOs in late 2017. With Min an influential voice on the relevant committee, some analysts have said today’s comments increase the chances of a revision in the law.

While key voices in the government have been vocal about their support for blockchain technology, the sentiments expressed by Min go a stage further, in recommending a new regulatory system for future initial coin offerings.

It remains to be seen whether this could lead to the change in law Korea’s cryptocurrency sector has been waiting for.