South Korean lawmakers work on legalising new ICOs

The legislators aim to secure endorsement for a new bill this year

South Korean lawmakers work on legalising new ICOs

A group of South Korean lawmakers is reportedly working on a bill to legalise the launch of new initial coin offerings (ICO) in the country.

According to a May 2 report by local news outlet The Korea Times, Representative Hong Eui-rak of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, is leading the effort, along with 10 other lawmakers. The group is working to create a bill and have it endorsed by the end of this year.

"The bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government's supervision," Hong said at a forum on ICOs and blockchain technology at the National Assembly on Wednesday. He added that the bill was based on a joint study conducted by his office and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA).

"The primary goal (of the legislation) is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses," Hong further explained.

South Korea’s government has banned domestic token sales as part of its efforts to curb growing cryptocurrency trading speculation. The initiative, led by Hong, marks the first attempt at challenging the restriction since it was first introduced in September. However, according to The Korea Times, the bill is not aimed at all types ICOs, instead it focuses on token sales conducted by public organisations and research centres “committed to promoting and developing blockchain technology”. These ICOs will be supervised by South Korea’s Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Science and ICT.

At the forum, National Assembly speaker Chung Sye-kyun underlined the role of legislators in eliminating political uncertainties surrounding virtual currencies and blockchain technology.

“Blockchain and cryptos can be used in various public sectors for good causes," Chung said, as quoted by The Korea Times. "Given their potential, we need to work to help reduce political uncertainties they face."

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