South Korea Lawmakers Discuss ICO

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South Korea has commenced an extraordinary session in the National Assembly to discuss regulation and measures to promote the cryptocurrency industry alongside ICO guidelines to eventually overturn the ongoing ban.

According to a Business Korea report on Monday, the short session – extraordinary sessions cannot exceed 30 days – in South Korea’s National Assembly will see relevant standing committees and lawmakers from parties across the political spectrum ‘discuss measures to promote the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry and create a guideline on initial coin offerings (ICOs)’.

The developments come at a time when lawmakers hasten to fast-track domestic regulations for the cryptocurrency sector with draft bills expected to be submitted during the session.

The session has seen lawmakers call on the Ministry of Science and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry to prepare ICO guidelines for investor protections. The sessions are expected to field discussions calling for ICOs to be allowed in South Korea, with relevant investor protection safeguards in place.

As reported in May, the National Assembly’s Special Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution called on the government to allow domestic ICOs, accusing authorities of ‘neglecting duty’ following a sweeping, knee-jerk ICO ban that followed China’s lead nearly a year ago.

“Entrepreneurs looking to innovate should be allowed to raise funds through cryptocurrency,” Jeju Island governor Won Hee-ryong was quoted as stating in his call to allow ICOs on the island.

The session will also hear and deliberate the recent proposal from Jeju Island’s governor in seeking to create a ‘special zone’ for the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector wherein fundraising through ICOs will be permitted despite the current ban in the mainland.

Jeju Island, Korea’s most popular tourist island that sees a large number of domestic visitors, made the proposal to become a designated ‘special zone’ for the industry in a meeting with senior government figures that included Kim Dong-yeon, Korea’s finance minister, earlier this month.

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