It’s almost been a year since the South Korean Government enacted their blanket ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs). Business Korea reported that during 2017 to 2018, there had been many conflicting policies concerning the promotion of blockchain technology and the banning of ICOs.
Jung Byung-guk, a leader of South Korea’s third-largest Bareunmirae party, noted that the uncertain regulations are highly problematic and suggested South Korea follow in the footsteps of Gibraltar. Jung noted that perhaps designating a regulation-free area to run several experiments may be a positive step forward for the country.
South Korea’s Unclear Regulations May Be Holding the Country Back
Although the South Korean Government banned ICOs to protect retail investors, the country currently has no precise definition for cryptocurrencies or regulations on unfair business practices. Unfortunately, South Korea’s lack of clarity with their meanings and standards creates blind spots in the legal system.
As a result, Jung decided to come up with a legislative proposal related to cryptocurrencies. On August 29, 2018, Jung set up a meeting to discuss a Korean ICO Guideline at the National Assembly Member’s Office in Yeouido Seoul.
He mentioned in the meeting:
“Other countries are promoting ICOs as a means of helping startups attract capital. I am so upset to see the South Korean Government sitting on its hands after prohibiting all types of ICOs. The National Assembly members have been also holding numerous meetings and seminars to revise and enact related laws but we haven’t found an answer yet.”
He will also hold a meeting at the National Assembly in October 2018 called ‘Global Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference,” with the hopes that this will fasten the process of releasing an ICO guideline for retail investors.
Jung however openly acknowledged that, on his visit to the UK and Finland as a member of the “National Assembly’s Blockchain and Cryptocurrency global initiative diplomatic corps,” while these countries have a more advanced and sophisticated digital financing and startup environment than South Korea, they also did not have a very clear answer when it came to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
Since everything changes so quickly in the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, agreeing to specific standards are extremely difficult.
Although Jung was aware of this concept, he suggested that South Korea perhaps look to Gibraltar, as a benchmark for South Korea. He noted that possibly designating a “regulation-free blockchain and cryptocurrency special zone or test zone first to do various experiments actively,” may be the best way to move forward.