Tag: global

South Korea Proposes Lifting ICO Ban

By Ryan Lau | @agorists

In 2017, South Korea placed a ban on Initial Coin Offerings. This means of raising money, better known as an ICO, is similar to an Initial Public Offering, or IPO. Essentially, an ICO is when new projects sell crypto tokens in exchange for bitcoin or ether.

Though many companies use ICO without issue, the potential for scams led to both China and South Korea making the process illicit. However, the latter is looking to go back on this policy.

A Business Korea report Tuesday detailed that the nation’s National Assembly officially stated that the startup method should be legal. Despite this, they did admit a desire for some regulations on the process to protect investors. Without regulation, they claim investors are at risk of giving money to false ICOs that claim to represent major companies.

The shift shows South Korea’s reaction to an ineffective law, as the NA admits many did not adhere to it. Instead, they went to Switzerland or Singapore, paying extra money to go where ICO is legal. By making ICO legal, the NA may bring some of this business back to the country.

The proposal, as of right now, has the backing of the 300 member NA. However, the full legislative process has yet to occur, so it is not yet an official act of the nation.

Once made a law, the proposal will spur on talk between South Korea’s government and the private sector. These talks will help the nation to agree on the level of regulation that should exist for ICOs.

Essentially, the law would return ICO to its prior legal state. Following this, the talks would then seek to impose some form of regulations once more. This will likely include a legal basis for crypto trading, as opposed to the agora that now exists in the crypto market.

For now, the market and the people of South Korea can only wait to see if the NA will push forth new legislation on ICO projects.


Featured Image Source.

Advertisements

Italy’s Populist Government Materializes

By James Sweet III | Italy

In Italy, the xenophobic League party, led by Matteo Salvini, has organized a governing coalition with the Euroskeptic Five Star Movement, led by Luigi Di Maio. This new government would be heavily based on Euroskeptism, populism, and skepticism to refugees and immigrants.

Giuseppe Conte, a law professor at Florence University, is going to become the next Prime Minister. With the nation being the third largest economy in the European Union, other members fear for the future for the European Union’s overall economy. Both parties support cuts in taxes while also increasing spending, a harmful move for a nation whose debt has recently soared to become 132% of its total GDP. For comparison, that is the second worst in the European Union, with Greece being the first. 15% of the European Union’s total GDP derives from Italy, and 23% of its debt belongs to the nation.

The two parties have agreed on three major policies: universal basic income, tax cuts, and a lower pension age. The proposed basic income would be €780 a month, which is equivalent to $917. The proposed cuts to taxes would lower the rates to a number between 15% and 20%. Capital Economics predicts that, if these policies were enacted, Italian debt would rise by 150%, relative to their GDP, over the next five years.

Federico Santi, an analyst at Eurasia Group, stated, “their plans on fiscal policy would result in a huge increase in the deficit, a blatant violation of EU deficit rules. If implemented in their current form [these proposals] would still result in an additional €100 billion ($117.8 billion) in additional spending or lower revenue.”

Member nations, like France, are concerned over the new government of Italy, with the Economy Minister of France, Bruno Le Maire, believing the stability of the Eurozone would be at stake. Euroskeptism is rising in the Union, and it’s only time until they reach a breaking point.


Featured Image Source

Theresa May Isn’t A Fan Of Cryptocurrency

By Nick Hamilton | USA

Cryptocurrency is increasingly looking like the next big investment trend, with skyrocketing numbers. However, British Prime Minister Theresa May and the British Government aren’t huge fans of it.

The Prime Minister spoke at Davos, an economic forum in Switzerland that United States President Donald Trump also attended. She voiced concerns about criminals using cryptocurrency because of the way that it works. Attacking Bitcoin, May said the following during her speech.

“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously, precisely because of the way that they can be used, particularly by criminals.”

May also took shots at tech companies, saying it’s up to them to step up their game in dealing with harmful online activity. She added that these companies are very smart, having “some of the best brains in the world,” so they need to clamp down on the spreading of terroristic content, child abuse, or modern slavery. She feels that these companies should give the British Government backdoor information. By doing so, they could see coded messages from criminals, but at the cost of user privacy.

Despite May’s concerns, there is little to no risk of this occurring. In fact, app developers physically cannot decode this end to end encryption. That’s how these attacks get planned without setting off alarms.

At this point, nobody is certain if the British Government wants to ban cryptocurrency altogether. They may instead take steps similar to South Korea, creating hard regulations on anonymous cryptocurrency accounts. However, CoinMetro CEO Kevin Murcko asserted that regulations from the British Government could actually benefit cryptocurrency. He insists that people would feel safer investing in cryptocurrency, therefore more people would invest.

Either way, after May’s speech on Thursday, Bitcoin’s price plummeted. It fell from a peak of $11.6K to $10.5K per coin.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond also had some comments on Thursday about Bitcoin. He said that the Bank of England has interest in bitcoin, but they need to regulate it to prevent danger.

(Image from metro.co.uk)