By: Cameron Bowen, 22 January 2018

South Korean Government May Lift ICO Ban

The ICO remains a controversial topic among the world’s various national governments. Most countries allow ICOs to occur, with some level of general oversight. China and South Korea, on the other hand, have banned this fundraising model outright. And while the world has seen hundreds of ICOs enter the market in months following these bans, both nations have remained intractable. Perhaps the ICO revolution will simply pass China and South Korea by…

Well, maybe not South Korea. The nation’s government has long been rumored to reverse its ICO ban. The South Korean populace is one of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic about blockchain technology in general. Interest in freshly unbanned ICOs would be high, to say the least. Fortunately for this crowd, the South Korean government has entered formal talks about ending the ICO ban once and for all.

The National Assembly resumed talks about ICO and blockchain technology on August 20th. The Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology both had seats at the table. Far from the skeptical South Korean government discourse we saw just a year ago, discussions were indicated a bright future for ICOs in South Korea.

South Korea has plans to create its own “Blockchain Island”. The island would have its own zoning and financial ordinances, which would be used to allow ICOs and blockchains to function there, without the intense strictures of the mainland. Government interlocutors compared Blockchain Island to Malta, the latter of which has become a haven for new blockchain tech due to its friendly national policies. The island would be centered around the Jeju resort.

Methods by which to enable an orderly ICO market could be established were also discussed. South Korea’s ban on ICOs hasn’t been a condemnation of the practice itself. The country enacted the ban to prevent the “Wild West” ICO culture that invaded the United States last year. During this time, billions in ICO funding were raised, and numerous investors became millionaires. On the other hand, countless fraudulent ICOs entered the space to grab at fast cash before new regulations could chase them away. South Korea’s decision to halt ICO development was not without merit, but it’s exciting to think of what the country’s future might hold once they are reinstated.

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