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  • Andrew Work

Report: Korea Is Planning to Allow ICOs

Here’s an interesting turn of events. According to the Korea Times, the Land of the Morning Calm is drawing up plans to allow ICOs:

The financial authorities are preparing a plan to allow initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital token-based fundraising rounds, for domestic investors, to advance blockchain-based technologies, according to sources familiar with the issue.

“The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met,” said a source asking for anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Allowing ICOs would be a major policy reversal for the country; it slammed the ban hammer on token sales late last year, calling cryptocurrencies “neither money, nor currency or financial products.” It then went on to crater cryptocurrency prices around the globe when it outlawed crypto trading.

That said, the government has yet to implement its ICO rules, writes the Korea Times. It has yet to force companies to return ICO funds and it still allows local investors to invest in foreign ICOs.

Before anyone gets their hopes up though, some are speculating that unless something will be done to the country’s tax code – particularly in regard to virtual currency trading – the ICO ban will stay firmly in place.

In any case, Korea’s Financial Service Commission still seems to be on the fence about it. Kang Young-soo, the FSC’s cryptocurrency trading chief, said that the regulator has yet to decide whether to allow ICOs in Korea for domestic investors and companies. He did acknowledge that the FSC engaged a “third party view regarding the issue,” but added that “there’s nothing that we can say officially at the moment.”

He did, however, have some good news for crypto traders:

“…we have to have plans on how to advance blockchain-related technologies and effectively regulate crypto-trading. This is a separate issue,” Kang told an industry forum held recently at the National Assembly.

Photo: Republic of Korea

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