Pointing out the government’s delay in regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) since a year, South Korean lawmakers called for swift regulatory action in a parliamentary forum on Oct. 2, reported Business Korea.
After China put forth a resistive stance with their infamous blanket ban on crypto-assets in September 2017, South Korea followed suit and banned all forms of ICO investing, citing investor protection and a lack of legislation at the time.
A year later, a robust framework for ICO trading and investing remains absent, and opposition parties in Korea are leaving no chance to call out the current policies; presumably even attracting millennial voters in that process.
Fortunately, two lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Party – Min Byung-doo and Roh Woong-rae of the National Assembly and Science Committees respectively – are leading a political move to legalize token issuances in Korea. For a country boasting of some of the world’s largest cryptocurrency projects, the initiative is a welcome move.
On Oct.2, Roh and Min hosted a blockchain forum at the National Assembly Library, with a particular focus on the disruptive technology and digital assets. Panelists included representatives from Korea’s Blockchain Association, Promotion Association, Open Blockchain Industry, and private forum participants Future Consensus Institute.
At the forum, Min drew attention to “confident” governments like Singapore, France, and Switzerland handling the merits and demerits of blockchain technology and token issuers, adding the countries have “opened roads” for ICO companies to set up businesses in their region.
Min believes the South Korean government undermines the benefits and competitiveness of blockchain technology. He termed it a “worrisome” situation and highlighted a recent report that showed blockchain adoption in South Korea fell by 75 percent compared to the U.S.
Roh supported his peer’s points, adding that local blockchain startups have been shifting abroad due to Korea’s lack of optimal legislation. He said the government was “nipping the bud” of the growing industry–which is famously considered as a part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution alongside other big data technology like A.I, Machine Learning, and robotics.
Meanwhile, both lawmakers stated they would find a solution after the government’s negative attitude. Min said Korea’s National Policy Committee is still ongoing the planning stages of an ICO bill of which the public hearing will be held in November 2018. However, he urged that a working group be created in collaboration with local cryptocurrency companies to share information, knowledge, and better understand the working of digital assets.
Roh concluded the session stating the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee would work in tandem with the National Policy to mitigate ill-effects of using cryptocurrencies, such as terrorist financing and money laundering, and discuss supportive legislation that creates jobs and plays a “leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Cover Photo by Ping Onganankun on Unsplash