The financial authorities are preparing a plan to allow initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital token-based fundraising rounds, for domestic investors, to advance blockchain-based technologies, according to sources familiar with the issue.
“The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met,” said a source asking for anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.
The plan, if implemented, will be a major reversal as last September the government banned ICOs, claiming cryptocurrencies were neither money, nor currency or financial products.
Despite this, the administration has yet to implement the ICO rule and hasn’t forced companies to return ICO funds. It also continues to let local investors put money into foreign ICOs and digital currency exchanges operating within the country.
Kang Young-soo, who oversees cryptocurrency trading policies at the Financial Service Commission (FSC), said the country’s top financial policy regulator has yet to decide whether to allow ICOs in Korea for domestic investors and companies.
“There are many speculating about the possibility of allowing ICOs. The FSC has acknowledged a third-party view regarding the issue, but there’s nothing that we can say officially at the moment,” Kang said.
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