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September 23, 2018

Kim & Chang attorney suggests postponing ICOs

PUBLISHED : April 05, 2018 - 13:55

UPDATED : April 06, 2018 - 09:38

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[THE INVESTOR] Although an increasing number of startups are eagerly eyeing initial coin offerings overseas due to heavy regulations here, it may be premature now, warned Samuel Yim, an attorney from the largest Korean law firm Kim & Chang on April 4.

Speaking at the Deconomy blockchain conference in Seoul, he said that startups seeking an overseas ICO should hold on to their plans until the Korean government comes up with clear guidelines.


Speakers at the Deconomy blockchain conference held in Seoul on April 3-4 participate in a panel talk. Kim Young-won//The Investor



“I always tell my clients to be very cautious about ICOs,” said Yim, an adviser on cryptocurrency and blockchain. “Just because there are no laws does not mean (overseas) ICOs are not permitted.”

And it may not be too much of a wait, the attorney said, as he believes the government will announce laws on ICOs after the June regional elections. Afterward, it should become much easier for the local blockchain and cryptocurrency community to set up self-regulatory measures.

“(Until a clear set of rules are out) I suggest taking some time to let the regulations play out. If you have good products and ideas, I don’t think you are going to miss out on opportunities,” he said.

In regard to the government stance on ICOs, Yim recommended authorities to take a gradual approach and look at guidelines that have been, and will be, adopted by other governments.

At the moment, a number of startups including My23 Healthcare and Zicto are preparing overseas ICOs, in markets such as Singapore, to avoid the current restrictions in Korea.

Speaking at the event, CEO of blockchain solutions developer Blocko Lee Jin-seok noted that Singapore is an ideal destination for ICOs since it is just one hour ahead of Seoul and has relatively less strict regulations.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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