Late last year, South Korea decided to ban ICOs in a controversial move. It marked the beginning of a downward trend for the ICO market and it has arguably not yet recovered. In June 2018, South Korea looked like it might reverse its decision to ban ICOs in the country, but its financial services commission has come out and said it will not be lifting the ban. It reiterated its stance, saying that ICOs are almost a gamble and that in the interest of protecting investors it will not be permitting ICOs in the country for the foreseeable future.
Still a Fighting Chance
While this bad news has come from the South Korean financial services commission (SKFSC), it isn’t the final word on the matter – that lies in the hands of the government. The South Korean government has said that it will make its final decision towards the end of November 2018. Yet, given the recommendation to stand by the ban from the SKFSC there is a good chance that it will uphold the ban.
South Korea Classifies Cryptos
Crypto regulations are one thing, but crypto classifications are just as good. This helps regulators and investors understand more about the crypto world. South Korea has created 10 different classifications that help define a blockchain project and shape its future in the country. Unfortunately, due to the classifications some projects may end up performing poorly in the country should an unwanted clarification be unjust, but this won’t be the case for all projects.
North Korea Joining the Blockchain World
Projects looking to set up shop on the Korean Peninsula might have another jurisdiction to call home should South Korea uphold the ICO ban. North Korea is looking to take its first legitimate steps into the crypto world by hosting its own international blockchain conference. The hermit kingdom is certainly late to the party, but it could prove to be a new stomping ground for ICO projects looking to get off the ground. The nation has been held responsible for a number of attacks on crypto exchanges – particularly in South Korea – and even crippling the NHS with its infamous WannaCry virus.
If South Korea upholds its ICO ban, it could seriously harm the South Korean crypto industry. New projects will seek to list their ICOs elsewhere and the country could end up missing out on new developments. There is still time for the government to change its mind, but at this point another outcome other than the upholding of the ban looks very unlikely.