South Korea’s National Assembly has discussed two promising sectors, i.e., blockchain technology and digital currency along with initial coin offerings (ICOs). The meeting has assumed importance for several factors as it comes amidst sluggishness in the cryptocurrency market. This has triggered a lot of speculations or rumors about whether the regulators in the country are rethinking the ban on ICO. The country is ranked third for developing and adopting the emerging asset class though it has banned ICO since it is keen to protect investors’ money.
The meeting of National Assembly drew considerable attention from blockchain supporters, as well as, digital currency enthusiasts, according to a cointelegraph report. Participants in the meeting included the Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology apart from key government ministries that are associated with the emerging sector. There was a debate on lifting the ban on ICO in South Korea. Alternatively, the debate centered on re-allowing ICO. Any favorable decision could draw a big crowd to tap the country to raise funds.
Apart from the ICO, there was also a discussion about developing ‘Blockchain Island’ in South Korea. The debate centered on the Jeju island resort since its provincial government is also keen on creating a special zone for an international blockchain, as well as, digital currency. The island wants to emulate Malta that has adopted the two key emerging sectors in the island in the recent past. Though discussion has taken place, it appears that no major decision was taken on key issues.
At the same time, the recent discussion will enable supporters to accelerate their rhetoric in favor of ICO thus increasing the momentum. Similarly, preparations for protecting investors will also gain momentum while a task force organization could be created to monitor the trading in cryptocurrencies. However, before the government takes any step in revoking the ban on ICO, the policymakers should clarify the legal standing of the digital currencies to ensure smooth functioning.
After slapping a ban on any type of ICO in September 2017, the South Korean government has not come up with an alternative policy. Therefore, the entire cryptocurrency and blockchain industry is focusing on the stand that the discussions in the National Assembly will deliver in the end. Apart from a discussion in the Assembly, the two issues have found a place in the political party structure too.
Investments in Blockchain
Previously, the ICT Ministry declared about intensive youth training initiative that will center on blockchain apart from other economic spheres. The government indicated that it would spend more than $4.4 billion in technology areas that included blockchain next year.
Interestingly, Korea’s popular tourist island, Jeju Island has been clamoring for a special zone to take advantage of the increasing number of domestic visitors. Its governor Won Hee-ryong indicated earlier that enterprises are looking to innovate and that there should not be any issue in enabling them to raise funds with the help of digital currency or ICO. The upcoming days will provide some directions on ICO and the virtual assets.