The South Korea Ministry of Finance launched a plan to have a blockchain-based platform for trading unlisted securities. The plan will be done in collaboration with the Korea exchange. The project is expected to start by the second half of 2019.
Notably in South Korea, unlisted shares change hands in an Over The Counter (OTC) manner. This makes the operations labor-intensive and prone to errors. In addition, most investors are unable to access these brokerage networks, therefore, reducing their chances of buying early-stage equities. Furthermore, the cost associated with the securities value chain is prohibitive for companies not large enough to be listed in trading platforms such as Korea New Exchange (Konex).
Reportedly, these challenges experienced while trading unlisted securities are seen as a bottleneck in the development of innovative and small size companies in the country. The new project intends to help such small and medium-sized ventures companies expand their capabilities in securities trading. The project will provide a cost-efficient, secure, and accessible platform. The goal is to make unlisted securities transactions efficient and available to a broader range of investors.
The consortium believes that blockchain can address the gap in the market, make transactions transparent, and maintain records of these trades securely and in a stable cost-efficient way.
According to a local newspaper report on August 6, there are 6 local companies and organizations participating in this initiative. These fintech firms include: Koscom, KEB Hana Bank, Hana Financial Investment, Technopark, Amicus Lex and a local association of accelerators
KEB Hana Bank and Hana Financial Investment, subsidiaries of Hana Financial Group, will handle escrow and offer support to unlisted companies, respectively. Amicus Lex will provide legal advice while accelerator association and Technopark will do the marketing and promotion for the platform.
The conversation on unlisted securities platform began in May when Koscom received approval from the Financial Service Commission (FSC) to create the system under sandbox program. The program allows for testing and creating innovative services by exempting them from some of the existing laws and regulations.
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