Korea’s Top Financial Regulator Reaffirms Negative Stance on ICOs

Korea’s top financial regulator has reaffirmed his negative stance on virtual currency transactions and initial coin offerings (ICOs), Business Korea reported Oct. 11.

“The government does not deny the potential of the blockchain industry,” said Choi Jong-koo, the chairman of the Financial Services Commission, at the parliamentary audit session of his commission at the National Assembly on Oct. 11. “But I think we should not equate the cryptocurrency trading business with the blockchain industry.”

“Many people say the Korean government should allow ICOs, but ICOs bring uncertainty and the damage they can cause is too serious and obvious,” Choi said. “For these reasons, many foreign countries ban ICOs or are conservative towards them.”

This remark seems to have effectively reaffirmed his negative stance that it is difficult to allow ICOs from the perspective of investor protection.

Regarding the criticism that commercial banks are not giving out real-name accounts to some virtual currency exchanges, Choi said, “Exchanges should be able to persuade banks to issue bank accounts to them.”