Consensus 2018 Proves Korea Needs to Embrace Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

South Korean ICO Regulations

South Korea is still looking to find the right way to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs.  The feelings is that South Korea does not want to hinder the digital currency industry but wants to protect their citizens against bad investments.  However Consensus 2018 proves that Korea needs to embrace cryptocurrencies and ICOs or risk falling behind in this new and innovative industry.

Banning ICOs in Korea and heavily regulating cryptocurrencies has slowed innovation in this very new industry.  Because of the ban on ICOs for Korean startups and companies, the Korean government has blocked blockchain technologies and tokens that are built on this technology.  Korean companies are all looking outside Korea to start their ICOs.  The late start in innovation was suppose to offset the security of Korean citizens and investors making bad investments.  However that has not been the case.  Koreans are investing in ICOs and cryptocurrencies more than ever.  If the Korean government was looking to stop those seeking to defraud or steal from the Korean people, they have failed.

The Role of the Korean Government in the Crypto Space

 The Korean government should be meeting with Korean ICO companies and Korean digital asset exchanges to talk about the ideas they have and what would be the best solution to kick out the bad actors.  There needs to be an open dialogue between the government and the crypto companies in South Korea.  Then they will be able to quickly come up with the right regulations in the financial industry and crypto markets.  The longer they wait the further South Korea will be left behind in crypto innovation.

The Return of ICOs in Korea

Currently, it seems South Korean’s main priority is not innovation but rather to keep people safe.  Their main concern for the digital currency space is that there is so much money flowing through the market without it touching Korean financial institutions.  This means it will be open to money laundering and tax evasion.  This is why Korea wants to make clear regulatory clarity surrounding token sales.  Once they have it, ICOs should be back in Korea.  Timing is the issue and time could be running out.

It might be impossible to get rid of fraud in this industry.  The main issue should be classifying tokens as a security.  The Korean government will have guidelines and if a Korean ICO company complies with the law, that is all they can do on their part.  The Korean government should ONLY step in when fraud is involved.

Korea can’t afford to have innovative blockchain startups go out of Korea and into Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, etc.  The faster the Korean government sets the regulations regarding ICOs the faster it will be for businesses to stay in South Korea.  Korea needs to embrace cryptocurrencies instead of looking for ways to hinder it.  Hopefully after Consensus 2018

John Yoon

John Yoon is the Editor in Chief at Startup Radar, Organizer for Startup Festival 2017, Head of Operations Korea at EOS Asia and the Global Marketing Director for Email = if you are interested in guest contributing and helping the Korean startup ecosystem. Wechat, Kakao, and Line user ID is jswy315

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