South Korea banned ICOs last September
The ban was announced in September of last year and since then the administration has been pretty quiet on the ICO issue, until now.
Shortly before the ban was issued, South Korea’s regulator, the Financial Services Commission, said of ICOs: they are over-speculative and constitute a ‘violation of capital market law’.
The National Assembly said that if the proposal to lift the blanket ban is successful it will come with various safeguards to educate and protect investors re investing in token sales.
Beware of the ICO
ICOs are notoriously risky investments with many either failing, falling victim to phishing attacks, or turning out to be straight scams wherein the organizers make off with sometimes millions of dollars worth of investor money.
As such, policy makers are keen to implement regulations to help protect consumers from being ripped off.
However, the National Assembly’s special committee tasked with tacking the issue, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, said: "We will also establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee."
South Korean ICO organizers took to Singapore and Switzerland
Following the ban, many would-be ICO organizers launched their respective token sales in countries such as Singapore and Switzerland.
South Korea faces the same dilemma as the U.S., Canada, and many other Western countries in that they do not wish to stand in the way of technological progress but, at the same time, have a duty to protect citizens from fraud and misrepresentation.
ICOs are still very new and, as such, governments the world over are struggling to deal with them; are they securities? Assets? How can they be regulated? These are questions that are the subject of hot debate amongst government official all around the globe.
Watch this space...