South Korean Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Legalize New ICOs

A group of South Korean lawmakers is working on a bill to legalize the launch of new initial coin offerings (ICOs) and digital currencies, local news outlet The Korea Times reported May 2.

Rep. Hong Eui-rak of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea is leading the move along with 10 other legislators to back the bill and have it endorsed this year.

During his speech at a forum devoted to ICOs and blockchain technology at the National Assembly on Wednesday, Hong said that "the bill is aimed at legalizing ICOs under the government's supervision." He also said that the bill was based on collaborative research conducted by his office and the Korea International Trade Association (KITA). Hong added:

"The primary goal (of the legislation) is helping remove uncertainties facing blockchain-related businesses."

According to the bill, ICOs initiated by public organizations and research centers will be subject to strict supervision by the Financial Services Commission and the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Chung Sye-kyun, a speaker from the National Assembly, underlined the role of lawmakers to eliminate political uncertainties surrounding digital currencies and blockchain technology:

"Blockchain and cryptos can be used in various public sectors for good causes. Given their potential, we need to work to help reduce political uncertainties they face."

The move is the first parliamentary challenge to the government's ban on the opening of new ICOs, which was introduced late last year to fight speculative investments in cryptocurrencies.

In March, 2018 rumors surfaced that certain entities within the South Korean government were considering to release the ban on ICOs, so long as new offerings adhered to strict government standards.