South Korea’s financial regulator has rejected steps to permit initial coin offerings (ICOs), arguing that there are “uncertainities” related to them.
South Korea Says No
Speaking to a parliamentary audit meeting, Choi Jong-ku, chair of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), said:
Although many people call for the government to allow initial coin offerings, there are still uncertainties related to such a move as well as the possibility of serious fallouts.
In a report from the Yonhap News Agency, Jong-ku added that while it will promote the blockchain, it will maintain its strict stance toward crypto exchanges.
Last September, South Korea placed a ban on ICOs in a bid to safeguard investors’ interests. The move followed similar steps taken by global regulators such as China, which has outlawed the market in the country. However, while China has taken a hardline approach, South Korea has stopped short of preventing citizens from participating in ICOs.
Not only that, but protests from the investor community saw around 200,000 citizens signing a petition against the crypto ban. Of course, these comments from Jong-ku may come as a surprise. Just last month, it was reported that regulators in South Korea were softening their stance on crypto trading and ICOs.
As a result, it was indicated that the country’s government was considering regulations. Not to mention also reversing a ban on ICO trading. Yet, it appears that such may not be the case after all. Such an announcement may put further doubt on the future of the industry in South Korea.
Notably, earlier this week, the head of Korea’s leading blockchain association said that the government should allow ICOs for economic growth.
Embracive of Blockchain
While South Korea may not be excited about crypto, it is by the blockchain.
In July, it was reported that the FSC was establishing an exclusive blockchain division. The aim is to establish policymaking initiatives tied to the industry.
At the time, an FSC official said:
The FSC plans a major organizational reshuffle to better protect financial consumers and proactively respond to financial innovation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.
The announcement follows on calls from Ripple in June, urging South Korea to embrace the technology and crypto. Ripple is reported to have suggested to the government to loosen its regulations so as to adopt the industry sooner rather than later.
What do you think of this latest news from South Korea? Let us know in the comments below.
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