Business

Gerald Fenech

S. Korea lawmakers revisit ICO ban, cryptos and ‘blockchain island’ policy

It seems that Malta is not the only country to come under the tag of the blockchain island of late, with South Korea also entering the fray in a big way. According to reports, lawmakers in the East Asian country have begun to discuss cryptocurrency once again with several topics on the agenda.

The main ones were reportedly the ending of the ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs), which has been in effect since September 2017, as well as the proposal to establish a blockchain-centric community on Jeju Island. This has been described as a “special economic zone for global blockchain and cryptocurrencies” by sources close to the discussions, Business Korea reported.

Attention on cryptocurrencies and blockchain have increased considerably in recent months with the South Korean authorities conducting exhaustive reviews of exchanges to ensure that these are compliant with security measures. The National Assembly meeting saw participation from several government ministries which also included the Ministry of Science, Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This ministry is tasked with the oversight of the crypto and blockchain industries in the country.

Aside from the debate on re-allowing ICOs to operate in the country, the lawmakers were also reportedly keen to press ahead with the creation of South Korea’s own ‘Blockchain island’ on Jeju Island, mirroring the push made by Malta authorities recently.

According to the Business Korea report, “Discussions to allow ICOs are expected to gain momentum along with preparations of investor protection measures and organization of a task force to establish order in cryptocurrency trading,” noting that it was first necessary to “clarify the legal definition of cryptocurrencies” before such a step could occur.

“The South Korean government prohibited all types of ICO in September last year and has come up with no related policy since then,” the publication quoted an industry insider as commenting. “The entire industry is paying much attention to how its stance will change through various discussions in the National Assembly.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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