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South Korea Inching Towards Legalizing ICOs

The South Korean government could soon legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs), ending a ban on crypto-crowdfunding that came into effect in Sep 2017. According to local media reports, influential policymakers are increasingly pushing the government to legalize ICOs and introduce a robust regulatory framework to oversee the homegrown crypto industry.

National Policy Committee Chairperson is in favor of ICO legalization

Reports of the South Korean government deliberating on legalizing ICOs have been rumoured in news headlines. However, the possibility of such a move taking place has drastically increased after Min Byung-Doo, the chairman of Korea’s National Policy Committee and a senior member of the ruling Democratic Party, strongly urged the government to put a permanent end to the ICO ban.

Among the most prominent lawmakers who echoed Min Byung-Doo’s stand on the issue is Roh Woong-rae, another senior member of the Democratic Party who currently heads the National Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications committee.

“As blockchain and cryptocurrencies have merits and demerits, only confident governments can handle them properly. A case in point are Singapore, Switzerland and France. These countries have opened up the road to ICOs for companies,”

Min said during an Oct 2 blockchain event that he co-hosted with Roh.

Min and Roh also spoke about a possible collaboration between the committees they head.

“The National Policy Committee and the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee will work together to come up with measures that minimize side effects so that the blockchain industry can create jobs and play a leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Roh pointed out.

Largely Positive Signal Coming From the Government

As of today, South Korea’s National Assembly is discussing the merits and demerits of the country’s first-ever crypto and blockchain-focused legislation. If the bill is approved without any significant changes, crypto exchanges operating in the country will come under the same regulatory framework that guides the banking sector.

Additionally, it will also pave the way for blockchain projects to gain the status of legal entities.

When the legislation was first introduced in the Parliament, it drew applause from the domestic crypto market as an essential move toward the long-term growth of the market. If the discourse surrounding the draft legislation remains unchanged, it could yield in a dramatic (and hopefully rewarding) shift in the local regulatory framework aimed at the digital assets market.