The Korean Bar Association, whose membership is mandatory for all lawyers in the country, has campaigned publicly for the government to pass a number of cryptocurrency-related laws. The group specifically proposes regulation for crypto exchanges, initial coin offerings, domestic and foreign crypto transactions, and cryptocurrency funds.
Lawyers Press Government for Crypto Laws
The Korean Bar Association on Thursday lobbied the government “to quickly establish a legal framework to help develop the blockchain-based virtual currency industry and protect investors,” Reuters reported.
“It is rare for the Korean Bar Association, membership of which is mandatory for all local lawyers, to campaign publicly for specific technological or business interest groups,” the news outlet noted.
At a press conference held at the National Assembly on Thursday, the president of the association, Kim Hyun, was quoted as saying:
We urge the government to break away from negative perceptions and hesitation, and draw up bills to help develop the blockchain industry and prevent side effects involving cryptocurrencies.
The Korean government is currently working on the legal framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) which it banned in September last year “without disclosing legal grounds,” News1 wrote, elaborating:
The Korean Bar Association specifically proposed the direction of regulating cryptocurrency trading sites, ICOs, domestic and foreign cryptocurrency transactions, and cryptocurrency fund products.
The group urges the government to adopt clear legal legislation related to crypto exchanges to prevent activities such as wash trading, insider trading, and money laundering, Chosun explained.
The association also presses for regulations in accordance with the Foreign Exchange Transactions Act for domestic and foreign crypto transactions.
Furthermore, instead of prohibiting investments in cryptocurrencies, the group proposes permitting certain types of organizations with expertise and qualifications to trade them.
The association asserted:
Even in the United States, where regulations on securities are strict, the law permits fund operations using cryptocurrencies as an underlying asset and futures trading.
For ICOs specifically, the association proposes applying the existing securities laws such as the Capital Markets Act or Financial Investment Business Act to security tokens, covering both domestic and foreign ICOs entering the Korean market, News1 detailed.
In addition, the group says the country’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) should “specify in advance the obligation to submit related documents such as a whitepaper” for ICOs of foreign companies entering the domestic market.
Meanwhile, FSC Vice Chairman Kim Yong-beom said on Wednesday that “The financial authorities will release the results of the actual initial coin offering situation this month.” The government is evaluating the outcome of its ICO survey conducted in September.
What do you think of the Korean Bar Association urging the government to pass these cryptocurrency-related laws? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, the Korean Bar Association, and Chosun.
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