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The South Korean government will decide in November 2018 on whether it will allow initial coin offerings (ICOs) again in the country.

South Korean Government to Take Another Vote on ICOs

(Source: Business Korea)

The Korean government is likely to announce its stance on the much–disputed status of initial coin offerings in November; The Investor reported citing a top government official.

The head of the office for government policy coordination, Hong Nam-ki, told lawmakers during the National Assembly’s annual audit on government actions that regulators in the country have been reviewing the topic in recent months. According to The Investor, Hong said that the Financial Services Commission (FSC), South Korea’s markets watchdog, has been conducting surveys on ICOs since September.

The survey, launched among blockchain companies currently operating in the country, aims to gather the market’s views on the current legal framework the industry has to work within. “We did the survey as some companies are conducting or preparing for ICOs despite the ban here,” Hong said.

“We are going to form the position of the government in November based on the results of the investigation at the end of October,” Hong said in response to the question on ICO permission raised by Jeon Haecheol, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party.

According to Yonhap, Choi Jong-gu, chairman of the FSC, voiced his concern against the idea of allowing ICOs. He said that despite many being in favor of allowing them, ICOs remain incredibly uncertain and the damage they could cause is “too serious and obvious.”

The Country’s Ban on ICOs Might Not Last

Following a move made by regulators in China, the FSC issued a ban on domestic ICOs back in September 2017, citing concerns that the practice of raising funds via the issuance of cryptocurrency tokens was almost “a gamble.”

South Korea’s government had also reconsidered allowing ICOs in August 2018, when the plans to create a blockchain haven in Jeju Island were still in full swing. The National Assembly partnered with the Ministry of Science, Information, and Communications Technology to discuss the potential legal framework for ICOs and other protective measures that could be taken to shield investors from risk.

According to The Investor, despite being uncertain about ICOs, the government is continually reaffirming its support for the country’s bolstering blockchain industry. The publication said that the state had spent 14 billion won or around $12.5 million in 2018, and plans on investing an additional 20 billion won next year in the development of the industry.