South Korea’s Financial Regulator Reveals ICO Ban Will Be Maintained

Francisco Memoria

South Korea is reportedly maintaining its ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) as the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) has recently found some projects broke the ban, and concluded the offerings are highly risky for investors.

According to a recently published press release, the FSC has discovered cryptocurrency startups have been illegally raising funds from South Korean investors. This, according to a survey conducted by the Financial Supervisory Service (FSS).

The FSS has reportedly sent a questionnaire to 22 cryptocurrency-related firms that conducted ICOs in foreign countries, and got replies from 13. These held their token sales in the second half of 2017, and raises a total of $509 million, according to CoinDesk.

The survey reportedly found that some projects set up companies in Singapore to circumvent the ICO ban and raise funds from South Korean investors. The findings were corroborated by marketing materials such as white papers, written in Korean.

Moreover, the agency’s research found some ICO projects didn’t reveal important information to investors, including financial statements. This, coupled with the significant decline tokens issued through the fundraising practice have seen, saw the risk of investing in ICOs be deemed high.

The document states:

The government has taken a cautious stance on the institutionalization of ICOs. We will stick to it.

South Korea initially ban ICOs back in September of 2017. Last year, the country’s national assembly made an official recommendation to lift the ban, in a move that was seen as bullish in the market as soon after reports suggested South Korea could loosen its rules on cryptocurrencies and indeed lift the ban.

In October, however, Choi Jong-koo, the chairman of the FSC, reaffirmed the Korean government’s negative stance towards ICOs, and revealed the organization believed the ban should be maintained. Despite South Korea’s approach, it has been planning to tax cryptocurrencies.

President Trump Wanted to 'Go After Bitcoin' in 2018, John Bolton Reveals

Michael LaVere
  • Former national security advisor John Bolton's claims that President Donald Trump wanted to "go after bitcoin" in May 2018. 
  • Bolton's new book details a tense exchange between President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin over cracking down on crypto-assets.

Former national security advisor John Bolton said that President Donald Trump wanted to “go after bitcoin” in 2018. 

According to a report by the Washington Examiner, which received an advanced copy of Bolton’s tell-all book The Room Where it Happened,  President Trump wanted to crack down on bitcoin and cryptoassets in 2018. 

The book claims that President Trump told Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to put pressure on the trading and selling of bitcoin. 

The report reads, 

Don't be a trade negotiator," Trump allegedly said, as was written in The Room Where It Happened, a copy of which was provided to the Washington Examiner. "Go after Bitcoin [for fraud].

According to Bolton, the exchange took place in May 2018 amidst a tense discussion over trade sanctions and tariffs placed on China. 

The report also notes the Trump administration’s history of skepticism towards cryptocurrencies, culminating in the release of new guidelines for the trading of crypto-assets earlier this year. 

Mnuchin said in a statement made in February, 

We want to make sure that technology moves forward, but on the other hand, we want to make sure that cryptocurrencies aren't used for the equivalent of old Swiss secret number bank accounts.

Featured image by Library of Congress on Unsplash