It Started! South Korea Parliament Debates Ending the ICO Ban

The National Assembly, South Korea’s parliament, has begun debating whether the government should overturn a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs). The motion was presented after three members of parliament put forward separate private members’ bills that, if passed, would legalize ICOs in the country.

The assembly took the decision to debate the matter after two select committees last month called on the government to put an end to its ban, which was put in place almost exactly a year ago.

The chief financial regulator, the Financial Supervisory Service, has previously rejected National Assembly committee calls for ICO legislative reform, but may be forced to change tack should enough MPs lend their support to the measure during the full-house debate.
Critics have claimed the ICO ban is forcing South Korean companies to set up shop in territories with more lenient ICO legislation, such as Malta and Singapore.
The government may also be forced to act after Won Hee-ryong, the regional governor of special administrative province Jeju Island announced he would pursue legal means to allow ICOs on Jeju.

Earlier this week, Won reinstated his desire to force Seoul to reconsider the ban, telling reporters, “[I am] going to persuade the central government to lift its [ICO] ban, so South Korea can become a leader in blockchain technology. This is a sector in which Korean companies can really thrive.”

Another regional governor, Lee Chul-woo of North Gyeongsang province, has also stated his keenness to build a Zug-style, ICO-friendly “Crypto Valley.”

Leading academics have also voiced their support of ending the ICO ban, with professors Ha Tae-hyung of Suwon University and Yoon Soon-deok of Hansei University calling for the government to legalize ICOs. Per Business Post, the professors told a parliamentary select committee that they believed ICOs should be issued in special, regulated zones within the country, or to follow the American lead on ICO issuance in order to let the blockchain industry “evolve.”

Meanwhile, in an editorial for the Electronic Times, journalist Jang Ji-young called on the South Korean government to follow Israel’s lead in blockchain policy-related matters. Jang said that the ICO ban has forced South Korean blockchain startups to relocate abroad, and accused the government’s policy of allowing over USD 27 billion to “leak” to overseas exchanges as a result of its blockchain-and cryptocurrency-related regulations.


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Author: Tim Alper
Image Credit: iStock/AaronChoi

The Fight For ICOs Intensifies in South Korea

Politicians and lawyers have led a fresh round of calls for the South Korean government to amend or repeal its initial coin offering (ICO) ban. The calls were made at a blockchain policy meeting held at the National Assembly (the South Korean parliament), and was chaired by influential MP Song Hee-kyung.
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Song is the former managing director of KT, one of the country’s biggest telecommunications companies, and is now a member of parliament for the largest opposition party, the Liberty Korea Party. She is also a member of a number of influential parliamentary committees.

She called for the government to create zones within the country where ICOs could be issued freely. Per media outlet News1, Song stated, “Special laws need to be put in place and special blockchain and ICO zones should be designated, where all forms of ICO issuance should be permitted.”

Song’s opinions were echoed by Ahn Jung-joo, a lawyer in the South Korean Justice Department, who News1 quotes as saying, “South Korea’s ICO ban has stopped over 100 startups from doing business in this country, leading to a South Korean exodus to countries with more [progressive] ICO [legislation], such as Malta and Singapore.”
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The calls came just days after a separate meeting of MPs urged ICO reform – and asked Seoul to provide support for the pro-crypto governor of Jeju Island, a semi-autonomous South Korean province that is hoping to use its special legal status to begin allowing ICO issuance.

The South Korean government is preparing to respond to renewed calls from opposition MPs urging the executive to make ICO reforms, as reported. Minister of Science and ICT You Young Min stated that he intended to consult with the regulatory Financial Supervisory Commission before making an official response.

Meanwhile, Singapore is the favored choice for South Korean businesses, with many of them launching their ICOs in the city state so far this year. Singaporean companies are garnering rich benefits from South Korea’s ICO ban.

“It costs up to USD 270,000 in consultancy and legal fees for a South Korean company to launch an ICO here. And on top of that, we need to pay our taxes to the Singaporean government – not to Seoul,” according the owner of a South Korean company that has recently launched an ICO in Singapore.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Tim Alper
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Rich South Koreans Reluctant To Buy More Crypto

In South Korea, the richer you are, the more likely you are to have cryptocurrency holdings, say the authors of a new survey. However, it seems that the rich’s confidence in Bitcoin and altcoins has taken a tumble.

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Per the findings of the KB Financial Group – a financial services mammoth that encompasses banking giant Kookmin Bank – richer South Koreans are more likely to have bought cryptocurrencies in the past, but are becoming reluctant to re-enter the market.

The KB Financial Group’s Korean Wealth Report found that some 24% of richer South Korean have purchased cryptocurrencies at some point, compared to 14% of less-affluent citizens.

However, the survey found that only 2% of wealthier South Koreans intend to make cryptocurrency purchases in the future.

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Furthermore, among the country’s most affluent capitalists (those with financial assets worth over USD 4.5 million), investors were twice as likely to have cryptocurrency holdings than those with less capital. This group also expressed a little more confidence in the market, with 5% saying they would consider re-investing in cryptocurrencies.

The survey also found that South Korean investors were almost half as likely to buy cryptocurrencies as investors elsewhere in Asia. Per the survey, 29% of South Korean respondents said they intended to buy cryptocurrencies at some point – compared to 52% of those living elsewhere on the continent.

Confidence in the market took a hit in South Korea earlier this year after a proposed government crackdown sent currencies into a tailspin – as well as a series of hacks on many of the country’s leading exchange platforms.


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Pressure Growing For S Korea’s Government to Reverse ICO Ban

South Korean MPs and lawyers are gearing up for a fresh assault on the country’s initial coin offering (ICO) ban. The politicians and legal professionals are aiming to reverse the government’s total ban on ICOs, made in September last year.



Media outlet News2Day reports that three MPs will submit private members’ bills during special parliamentary sessions on July 13 and 16, all aimed at reversing the ICO ban. Their number includes Park Yong-jin of the ruling Democratic Party. Two opposition MPs, Chung Tae-ok of the Liberty Party Korea and Choung Byoung-gug, the former leader of the Bareunmirae Party, are also set to put bills forward.

Another Democratic Party MP, Hong Eui-rak, has already proposed a bill to overturn the ban this year, as pressure on the government continues to grow.
In May, the National Assembly’s Special Committee on Industry 4.0, a parliamentary IT board, recommended that the government allow regulated ICOs. The plea failed to impress the regulatory Financial Supervisory Service (FSS), which said it would continue to “take a negative stance” on ICOs.

Meanwhile, Newsway reports that lawyers affiliated with the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have urged the creation of “an institutional system” to “end the confusion” caused by the government’s ban.

The KCCI held an “ICO Seminar” on July 11, where the group’s speaker, lawyer Yoon Jong-soo, stated, “There is great demand [for ICOs in South Korea], and there is no doubting their value, but is difficult to protect investors in the current environment.” Other lawyers suggested that consultants carefully consider South Korean companies’ individual needs when advising them where to conduct overseas ICOs. Singapore is currently the favored choice for South Korean businesses, with at least 44 companies launching their ICOs in the city state so far this year.

In the past week it has emerged that Seoul may actually be willing to consider amending its ICO policy, but will only act after the forthcoming G20 summit of finance ministers (July 19-22). Ministers at the summit, to be held in Buenos Aires, are expected to discuss cryptocurrency-related matters. The governor of Jeju Island, a self-governing South Korean province, meanwhile, says he hopes to use the region’s special legal status to allow companies to issue ICOs on the island – another move that may influence Seoul’s ICO policy.


Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author: Tim Alper
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