South Korea has moved a step closer to lifting a ban on Initial Coin Offerings. The country’s National Assembly has made an official recommendation, which if implemented, will lift the eight-month ICO ban. The 300 member legislature made a proposal to allow listings of domestic ICOs, only on adhering to investor protection provisions.
ICO Ban Impact
The ban has had a catastrophic impact on the once booming cryptocurrency sector. Domestic blockchain companies had resorted to going to Singapore and Switzerland in a bid to carry out ICOs. Consequently, investors received exposure to fraudulent ICOs and fake companies.
The legislature seems to have had enough with the creation of their new proposal. A special committee on the fourth industrial revolution held a general meeting on May 28th, 2018, and made the recommendation.
“We need to form a task force including private experts in order to improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order. The administration also needs to consider setting up a new committee and building governance systems at its level in a bid to systematically make blockchain policy and efficiently provide industrial support,” the special committee said in a report.
The special committee has also proposed establishing a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading which will make ICOs permissible countrywide. The ban will continue until the National Assembly comes to a consensus with the government.
The legislative push to lift the ICO ban first came to light in early May after a group of leaders led by Rep. Hong Eui-rak began drafting a bill with the hope of legalizing ICOs. The bill seeks to give the government powers to supervise and also scrutinize ICOs by removing uncertainties that have crippled blockchain related businesses.
The legislative push has already received support from South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, who has been touting the positive aspects of cryptocurrencies. President Moon has already confirmed plans to revise regulations applied on the cryptocurrency market.
Early in the year, South Korea enforced a ban on anonymous bank accounts used in cryptocurrency trading. Banks and cryptocurrency exchanges were ordered to ensure people dealing in cryptocurrencies used their real names in trading accounts. While the move was intended to encourage KYC-enabled practices, it instead went on to create turmoil in the market.