South Korean financial authorities have been developing a plan that would allow ICOs to be held in the country, according to The Korea Times, which attributes the information to anonymous sources.
These authorities have apparently been in conversation with representatives of the National Tax Service, the Ministry of Justice, and other government agencies about a possible framework that would regulate the sale of cryptocurrency through ICOs, and which would only be implemented if and when "certain conditions are met."
One source – it's unclear whether he is the same source who provided the above quote – said that other measures, such as value-added and capital gains taxes on cryptocurrency trades and corporate taxes on exchanges, are also being discussed in government circles. He posited that these measures would have to be adopted before the ICO ban, which has been in place since September 2017, could be reversed.
According to reports, authorities have not forced companies to pay back money that they brought in during ICOs conducted before the prohibition was announced, and they continue to allow South Korean investors to put money into foreign ICOs.
Kang Young-soo, who leads the Financial Services Commission's (FSC) virtual currency response team, said that his agency is still weighing the possibility of allowing South Korean investors to participate in ICOs, as well as permitting companies to conduct them.
"The FSC has acknowledged a third-party view regarding [a reversal of the ban], but there's nothing that we can say officially at the moment," he said, adding that while the government is working to regulate the cryptocurrency market, it does not plan to regulate the digital assets themselves.
Earlier in March, it was revealed that South Korea's government had banned all its officials from holding and trading cryptocurrencies.