New South Korean Bill Will Seek to Overturn ICO Ban

A movement within South Korea's National Assembly seeks to write a bill this year that would overturn the ICO ban, albeit in a highly-restricted manner.

A long-anticipated bill that could lift the South Korean government’s ban on ICOs may reach the floor of the country’s National Assembly.

Representative Hong Eui-rak from the ruling party (the Democratic Party of Korea) is taking charge of the movement inside of the legislative body supported by another ten members. They promise to have a bill materialized this year, although they did not specify when it would appear.

“The bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government’s supervision. The primary goal [of the legislation] is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses,” said Hong.

This is not a full overturn of the ban, however. The bill will only propose that ICOs initiated by research centers and public-sector groups be allowed. Even then, the Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Science and ICT would both be calling the shots.

In addition to all these restrictions, old ICOs will not be allowed back. The proposal only applies to new offerings.

At the forum where Hong spoke, the Speaker of the National Assembly—Chung Sye-kyun—chimed in and threw in his support for the eventual measure.

“Blockchain and cryptos can be used in various public sectors for good causes. Given their potential, we need to work to help reduce the political uncertainties they face,” added Chung.

South Korea’s abrupt ban of all ICO sales has led companies to seek fundraising overseas instead, making the country miss out on any benefit that the potential market activity brought with it. For example, Bithumb, the country’s largest exchange, chose Singapore as the home for its ICO launch to circumvent this ban.

If made into law, the bill could begin the process of allowing private operators in the country to regain the ability to raise funds with coin offerings at home rather than having to set up a base abroad.