Tag: ICOs

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.


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Is NEO The Future of Smart Contracts?

By Max Bibeau | International

NEO, formerly known as Antshares, has caused quite a storm in the cryptocurrency world, especially as it exploded in value in July and August of 2017. However, the technology behind NEO leads me to believe not only is it currently extremely undervalued, but it has the potential to completely revolutionize the world of smart contracts.

NEO is a blockchain system similar to Ethereum, designed to be functional in conducting and executing smart contracts, ICOs, and any other kind of blockchain project. This in itself isn’t revolutionary, as Ethereum attempts to pursue a similar goal. However, NEO’s method of pursuing this goal, and multiple aspects of their cryptocurrency, allow it to be considered a serious contender against Ethereum, and something that may see heavily mainstream adoption in the future.

First, NEO is backed by the Chinese government, using their fiat currency to buy the “gas” that powers the platform. Ethereum, by contrast, occasionally rewards miners with Ether (the “gas” of the Ethereum blockchain) or gave it out in a presale. NEO’s use of fiat money allows for far more stability, cutting down on volatility, something that many critics worry will prevent the mainstream use of technologies like Ethereum and Blockchain. NEO is also backed by a few Chinese tech giants, ensuring it’s financial stability, allowing the developers to continue to upgrade and improve the functionality and applications of the technology.

Also, NEO uses a newer form of block confirmation, called dBFT, or “proof-of-stake.” When compared to Ethereum’s “proof-of-work” method, NEO’s system is thousands of times more efficient, cutting down on the massive energy consumption of Ethereum technology. While in the short term, with NEO’s minimal adoption, this may not be important, it is critical when these cryptocurrencies reach the late-stage period of common use that they all shoot for. Even more critical, is the number of transactions that this system allows NEO to complete. Currently, NEO can process over 10,000 transactions per second. When compared to Ethereum’s modest 15 transactions per second, we can see that NEO has some serious scalability, whereas Ethereum is already facing problems.

NEO was formerly called “Antshares” for a reason – It’s important to note that NEO does not intend to be a “cryptocurrency” such as Bitcoin. It is simply a decentralized, digital system that intends to create a “smart economy.” The actual cryptocurrency being exchanged, identically named “NEO,” is much more similar to a share in a company than a traditional coin or token. The coins will likely continue to increase in value, but more due to the success of the NEO team of developers in making a successful technological innovation, not due to the belief that it will become a leading method of peer to peer transactions. It is similar to Ethereum in this aspect.

So while NEO may have seemed to already have its boom, it seems likely that the near future will bring huge gains for NEO holders, along with ushering in a new method of smart contracts and blockchain confirmations that could provide some real competition to current leaders like Ethereum.