Nearly six months after a blanket ban on ICO (initial coin offering) fundraising, South Korean regulators are reportedly planning to allow ICOs, under certain conditions.
South Korea’s financial regulator and watchdog first banned initial coin offerings in late September 2017, citing concerns about fraud as a means to ultimately protect investors. The restrictive curbs came within weeks of China’s own blanket ban on initial coin offerings earlier that month. A new report from a mainstream Korean publication, however, could see Korean financial authorities formulate a plan to allow ICOs for domestic investors.
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Citing an anonymous source, the Korea Times is reporting discussions between financial authorities who are preparing to allow ICOs under certain conditions that are yet to be revealed.
The source, who is the publication claims is familiar with discussions, stated:
“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.”
The current regulatory climate for cryptocurrencies and adopters in Korea is a markedly different from widely-reported whispers – since December – of a possible ban on cryptocurrency trading in the country. The government has since moved to ban anonymous crypto trading while adopting an encouraging stance in recent weeks. Throughout it all, Korean authorities haven’t crippled investors from investing in foreign ICOs despite outlawing the fundraising model domestically.
Financial Services Commission (FSC) official Kang Young-soo, in charge of cryptocurrency trading policies at the country’s primary financial regulator, revealed the authority hasn’t yet made a call on allowing domestic investors and companies to participate in ICOs.
“There are many speculating about the possibility of allowing ICOs,” the official told the publication. “The FSC has acknowledged a third-party view regarding the issue, but there’s nothing that we can say officially at the moment.”
The news follows previous remarks by FSC vice-chairman Kim Yong-beom hinting at backtracking from the sweeping ban, if only to allow institutional investors to take part in ICO fundraising while keeping it away from “regular citizens how are not informed of its technology and complicity.” However, today’s report suggests that the rules could be eased to allow both professional and retail domestic investors partake in ICOs.