South Korean lawmakers are moving to legalize initial coin offerings (ICOs) that have been left neglected for more than a year after the government banned all forms of ICOs in September last year.
Min Byung-doo, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party who chairs the National Policy Committee of the National Assembly, and Roh Woong-rae, another DP lawmaker who leads the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee, are leading a parliamentary move to legalize ICOs.
Min and Roh jointly hosted a forum on blockchain at the National Assembly Library on October 2. The forum was supported by Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute), a private think tank, the Korea Blockchain Industry Association, Korea Blockchain Industry Promotion Association and Open Blockchain Industry Association.
Min said, “As blockchain and cryptocurrencies have merits and demerits, only confident governments can handle them properly. A case in point are Singapore, Switzerland and France. These countries have opened up the road to ICOs for companies.”
Yet the Korean government has been neglecting the nation’s blockchain industry for a year, undermining its competitiveness. Min said, “This is a very worrisome situation. A recent report shows that South Korea’s blockchain technology has fallen to the 75 percent level of the U.S.”
Roh also said, “After the government has banned ICOs, blockchain startups have been going abroad. There are growing concerns that the government’s regulations are nipping the bud of the blockchain industry, a key sector of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Min and Roh said they would find a solution at the National Assembly as the government has maintained a negative attitude.
Min said, “The National Policy Committee is planning to draft a bill ICOs and blockchain and hold a public hearing on it in November. We will urge the government to create a working group to be participated in by related associations and organizations to exchange information and solve problems.”
Roh also said, “The National Policy Committee and the Science, ICT, Broadcasting, and Communications Committee will work together to come up with measures that minimize side effects so that the blockchain industry can create jobs and play a leading role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”