Member of Minjoo Party Aims to Lift Korea’s Initial Coin Offering Ban


Member of Minjoo Party Aims to Lift Korea’s ICO Ban

Last September, the Korean government made the bold decision to implement a ban against initial coin offerings (ICOs). They believed ICOs to be a type of fraud, gambling, or even just speculation, even though a great deal of new startups use this method of crowdfunding to establish themselves in the market. As expected, many blockchain companies in the area were unhappy.

Despite plenty of support from lawmakers in the area, there are some that are in opposition to this ban and have remained advocates for the legalization of ICOs. Considering that the economy in the area has been struggling lately, which is largely due to the rising unemployment rates and the high costs of housing, it is natural that the public wants another option.

Min Byung-doo, a member of the ruling Minjoo Party, is one of the many lawmakers that have been public about their support of ICOs. The ruling party has gone as far as to submit a query in favor of ICOs, which is unique for this type of entity. However, alone with being a leading figure, he is the chairman of the National Policy Committee. When he said down with an interview with CoinDesk Korea, they spoke about his views on ICOs, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies, along with their perspective on South Korea’s regulations.

The interview opens with asking why he believes in changing the laws to allow ICOs, noting that there are some benefits to the recent regulations because it helped citizens to be cautious in their investments. Based on the preventative measures already taken, Byung-doo said,

“Even if the regulations on ICOs and exchanges were repealed, I don't think people would be jumping into these markets without careful consideration. I think the vaccine has succeeded, and it's now time to open up the market.”

He added that there are still multiple countries that have tried to use their current framework to allow ICOs, while citing how ICOs managed to bring in more funds than venture capital or angel investments did.

“There is a major opportunity to make billions, but the problem is that even though this opportunity exists, the government is still blocking ICOs on the grounds that they could lead to ‘fraud, speculation or money laundering.'”

Next, they spoke about the impending decisions that the National Assembly will be making. Even though the next set of regulations is not expected until November, some bills have already been submitted, which include an “outright ban on ICOs.” Still, there are a good portion of the submitted bills that promote ICOs, showing the “vastly different views on this issue.” However, Byung-doo warns, “I think we are quickly running out of time.”

The interviewer questioned whether a positive stance from the chairman of the National Policy Committee would improve the possibility of passing a new law in favor of it. Though he did not respond specifically about the chairman, he replied,

“The FSC seems to be having a difficult time. The NPC is the committee in charge of this issue, so when I am speaking out in favor of ICOs and several dozen lawmakers have also made their voices heard through a series of debates, it places a lot of pressure on the government. The government seems to feel a heavy burden when it comes to enacting laws or guidelines. I think they are afraid that enacting a law might come across as a tacit endorsement of crypto assets.”

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