Nearly eight months after a blanket ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), South Korea’s National Assembly has reportedly made an official recommendation to allow domestic ICOs in the country.
According to a report by Business Korea on Tuesday, the 300-member national legislature has made an official proposal to allow domestic ICOs in the country by preparing and adhering to relevant investor protection provisions.
The National Assembly’s special committee on the fourth industrial revolution even accused the government of ‘neglecting its duty’ in responding to the blockchain sector, the report suggests. The much-publicized ICO bans by Korea and China before it has seen an exodus of domestic companies going to friendlier jurisdictions in Singapore and Switzerland to conduct ICOs.
Discussions on blockchain and ICOs between the National Assembly and the government will ‘accelerate’, the report suggests. More pointedly, the National Assembly has put forward a legislative and policy proposal to recommend allowing ICOs.
The committee on the 4th industrial revolution also called on the government to form a task force comprising of both public officials and private experts to “improve transparency of cryptocurrency trading and establish a healthy trade order.”
It further stated:
"The administration also needs to consider setting up a new committee and building governance systems at its level in a bid to systematically make blockchain policy and efficiently provide industrial support. We will also establish a legal basis for cryptocurrency trading, including permission of ICOs, through the National Assembly Standing Committee."
The legislative effort first came to light earlier this month when a group of lawmakers led by Rep. Hong Eui-rak of the Democratic Party of Korea – the ruling government – began drafting a bill to legalize the launch of new ICOs in the country.
“The bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government’s supervision[…],” he said at the time. “The primary goal (of the legislation is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses.”
The embracive turn follows recent remarks from the new chief of Korea’s financial watchdog who has chosen to put the spotlight on the “positive aspects” of cryptocurrencies while suggesting authorities will relax cryptocurrency curbs in what is among the world’s largest crypto trading markets.
South Korea National Assembly image from Shutterstock.