South Korea joins China in banning coin offerings

Illustration by Alex Castro  The Verge

Danielle Szetho, CEO of Australia's FinTech industry association FinTech Australia, said ASIC's announcement was "the clarification we have all been waiting for, and I feel it strikes a very good balance between helping start-ups looking to run an ICO in Australia while at the same time informing and protecting potential investors The guidance ASIC has released is a positive step to ensure a viable future for ICOs in Australia, and sits alongside other positive initiatives such as removing double taxation on digital currencies and driving global blockchain standards".

The move puts Switzerland in line with authorities casting a sharper eye on the new crowdfunding method, which has let digital currency entrepreneurs raise millions quickly by creating and selling digital "tokens". The commission vowed that rule-breakers would face "stern penalties".

What are your thoughts on South Koreas ban on Initial Coin Offerings? That said, it's now unclear how, exactly, the country would attempt to regulate crypto.

Vitalik Buterin, co-creator and flag bearer of Ethereum, who visited Seoul earlier this week, said that "banning ICOs will definitely hamper technological development", and warned that regulations could be counterproductive at this stage of development.

President Oliver Bussmann said the association was unsurprised by FINMA's announcement.




Switzerland has hosted four of the six largest ICOs to date.

Japan became popular in the cryptocurrency space after the famous Mt.Gox hack in 2014, where 850,000 Bitcoins were lost.

This month FINMA closed down what it said was the provider of a fake cryptocurrency and said it was investigating around a dozen other possible fraud cases.

The press release also reported that beyond implementing the ban, certain members of the task force would continue to monitor the trading of cryptocurrencies in order to determine whether such activity should be regulated.

According to Bloomberg, digital currencies like bitcoin and ether experienced a small drop in price following the ban - 5.7 percent for ether and 3.5 percent for bitcoin - but both have already recovered.

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