After South Korea banned ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), things seem to have slowed down; however, the ban hasn’t totally halted the flow of new digital coins on local exchanges. Despite the South Korea ICO ban, startups in the country haven’t closed their doors on the fundraising process and are settling their ICOs overseas and then, listing their digital coins on the exchanges of South Korea. The expansion arises on the heels of a report which suggests that the country, South Korea, is reconsidering its stance on ICOs.
Crackdown on Crypto-Markets
In September 2017, South Korea unleashed its crackdown on the cryptocurrency markets and banned ICO listings in the country. This move by South Korea threw a wrench into trading volumes of cryptocurrencies, where the price of Bitcoin is considered to trade at a heavy premium against other markets. Also, a rumour was circulating last month that the investors in South Korea might be scooping up Bitstamp (Luxembourg-based bitcoin exchange), in a contract which has the worth of almost $400 million; however, these reports haven’t been confirmed yet.
With all the other news related to the virtual currency exchanges, it’s been observed from several sources that Bitstamp, as it is one of the oldest exchanges, is in the final stage of being vended to the investors of South Korea for $400 million; however, buyers and the exchange, both are not commenting on it.
For now, the surge has started to turn for ICO issuers, as it’s proven through ICON (ICX), which is a new coin developed by DAYLI Financial Group (Seoul-based fintech), though it is issued in Switzerland. The ICON Foundation is listed in Switzerland and works out of Korea. The top two cryptocurrency exchanges of South Korea are; Bithumb and Upbit. Both of these exchanges support ICON for trading. While South Korea followed China and banned ICOs, the issuing firms have discovered a way to avoid the regulations. ICON has been proved as a lucrative investment up to now, as it started trading at $0.11 and rocketed to $2.64 immediately.
Park Nok-sun, the NH Investment and Securities cryptocurrency analyst told Reuters that the listing on the trading platforms of South Korea is substantial, since it’s the first-platform-coin of the country that has advanced on code which can support other applications as well. ICON isn’t the only digital currency of South Korea that have evaded the ban. This trend has matured, as almost 12 companies have launched ICOs abroad; however, they’ve also listed their coins on the exchanges of South Korean, including Hyundai subsidiary Hyundai BS&C.
According to Reuters, regulators of South Korea want the blockchain startups of the country to be “transparent” about the international deals but at the same time, it doesn’t intend to be a hurdle in their way. Meanwhile, it would be inexpensive and much easier for South Korea to let the local startups launch their token sales locally again.