South Korea’s Chief Policy Maker Insists on Legalizing ICOs

In a recent speech given to the National Assembly, Chairman of South Korea’s National Policy Committee Min Byung-Doo urged Korean regulators to legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs). Despite being home to one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world and a hub for blockhain innovation, the South Korean government imposed a ban on all ICOs in September of last year. Federal officials have also expressed concern surrounding cryptocurrency exchanges, deeming that without stricter regulation, they could be a danger for investors. Min told the Korean National Assembly this week that he does not want the country to close the door on ICOs completely.

Min further stated that ICOs are becoming an increasingly popular trend, and it is the responsibility of the government to support national development in the space through sensible regulation.

“Regulation is not bad. Regulation is necessary. It is the only way to legitimize the market and allow investors to build trust towards the cryptocurrency market,” Min said.

The Financial Services Commission passed South Korea’s ICO ban in September 2017, but the bill has yet to fully go into effect.

Min acknowledged in his speech the obvious dangers surrounding ICOs that led to the ban. He cites fraud, speculation, and capital laundering as practices that must be strictly prohibited, noting that an ICO white paper analysis program, complete with an ICO safety rating system, could help protect investors. Min urged the National Assembly to recognize that ICOs and other crowdfunding capital-raising initiatives are beginning to gain increasing traction.

“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.”

In a panel discussion with the Korean government’s science chief, Min later stated, “Let the government, the National Assembly and the blockchain association immediately form a working group to block fraud, money laundering, speculation, and develop the block-chain industry.”

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