Tag: South Korea

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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North Korea’s Treaty Has Been Immortalized by Ethereum

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

North and South Korea made history with the Panmunjom Declaration. It effectively ended the Korean war and has de-escalated the situation on the Asian peninsula to a significant degree.

Continue reading “North Korea’s Treaty Has Been Immortalized by Ethereum”

Donald Trump Pulls a Ron Paul with North Korea

By CJ Westfall | United States

Libertarians and non-interventionists have been pitching this idea for years. The hermit country of North Korea once again like it does every few years is back at the negotiating table talking peace. Should we believe them this time?

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton addressed this concern this Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation”, Bolton said: “Well, we’ve heard this before. This is – the North Korean propaganda playbook is an infinitely rich resource.”

“What we want to see from them is evidence that it’s real and not just rhetoric,” he added.

We’re all waiting on the edge of our seats for that evidence, and if it comes out there’s already talks of President Trump being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. That’d be quite the award for a man who threatened “fire and fury” on the country just a few months ago. He wouldn’t be awarded for that rhetoric of course, he’d be awarded for pulling the roughly 28,500 troops from the region in exchange for North Korea abandoning it’s nuclear program.

The crazy part about this is that Libertarians have been talking about this forever. Ron Paul has been advocating for years that we pull our bases from that region altogether. How crazy is it that President Trump is now the subject of conversation relating to the Nobel Peace Prize because he’s considering a non-interventionist policy.

Some might oppose demilitarizing calling the method an isolationist approach. War hawks and Neo Cons on the left and right will try to keep President Trump from his win and will argue the Kim regime is still dangerous despite any evidence of denuclearization Kim Jong Un might offer. It always seems like there’s someone arguing for more intervention. Military provocation is undoubtedly counter-productive to peace. Some say that’s “isolationist.”

The problem with that is North Korea has already been isolated for years. It is isolationist to impose sanctions, to prohibit Americans from doing business, to impede or forbid travel by US citizens to countries with which the US government disagrees. North Korea is isolated in part because our government has isolated it. North Korea threatens to attack South Korea and the United States partly because South Korea and the United States continue to mount very provocative military exercises on North Korea’s border.

If President Trump wants to rack up the awards throughout his presidency, it sure seems like he should start listening to the Pauls.


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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)

The Olympics and Korean Diplomacy

Andrew Lepore | USA

After a year of escalating tensions, beating war drums, and threats of “fire and fury”, most Americans have little confidence that the situation with North Korea will get better before it gets worse. Many Americans believe the chance for diplomacy on the peninsula is null. In fact, The University of Quinnipiac took a poll, showing 48% of Republicans and 17% of Democrats support a preemptive strike on the country.

Of course, this less than optimistic view about the North Korean Crisis is justifiable. In the last few years, negotiation and communication between Washington and Pyongyang have been virtually non-existent. However, recent revelations show an opportunity for de-escalation and steps toward a peaceful solution.

In a surprising New years announcement, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea would like to participate in this year’s Winter Olympic Games, which will open in the South Korean Town of Pyeongchang next month. On national television, Kim stated:

“The Winter Olympic Games that will be held soon in the south will be a good opportunity to display the status of the Korea nation, and we sincerely wish that the event will be held with good results.”

He also stated they will “take various steps, including the dispatch of a delegation.” For many, this is a step in the right direction for cooperation between the Koreas. Previously, North Korea has refused to participate in games hosted by South Korea.

Kim’s announcement was welcome news for the current Progressive South Korean administration and its leader, President Moon Jae-in. Prior to his election, Jae-in emphasized greater cooperation and a more stable relationship with North Korea. Following Kim’s New Year’s announcement, President Moon’s re-unification minister, Cho Myoung-gyon, extended an invitation to a formal meeting between representatives from the two nations to negotiate and discuss Olympic cooperation. It also would emphasize diplomatic ties between the nations.

The meeting commenced on January ninth at the shared border village of Panmunjom, and ended successfully.  After 12 hours of bilateral negotiation, the two warring nations reached several conclusions:

North Korea will send athletes and a high level delegation to participate in the Olympic festivities in February.

The nations agreed to resume temporary reunions of families divided by the war, but “resolve national problems on our own.”

Lastly, both countries agreed to follow up these bilateral negotiations to relieve military tensions on the peninsula.

Indubitably, the conclusions of this meeting were quite optimistic. The two nations achieved successful talks without the help of the U.S or any other outside entity. Better yet, they plan on continuing this trend.

President Trump recently voiced his support for this communication. In a recent announcement, he stated “I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there, So I’m behind that 100%.” However, others in his administration have not expressed optimism about North Korea’s participation in the games nor the recent bilateral talks between North and South Korea.

General Mattis on the day of the Bi-lateral negotiations stated in reference to the talks; “The sum total of the subjects that are going to be discussed today are the Olympics only.” He also reportedly swore not to let North Korea drive a wedge between the U.S alliance with South Korea. North Korea doesn’t seem to have accomplished that, although they obviously talked about a lot more than the Olympics in that 12 hour conference, judging by the conclusion of the negotiations.

Mattis is not alone in his disapproval. Other top members of President Trump’s cabinet, such as National Security Advisor General H.R McMaster, share this feeling. On January 23rd, McMaster spoke of the scenario in a press interview.

“Everyone recognises that we can’t… fall for what in the past has been a North Korean ploy to create the illusion of success and talks, and to use that to lock in the status quo as the new normal.” -H.R. McMaster

In the weeks following the bilateral negotiations, the two nations took more steps towards unification. For example, the divided Koreas have agreed to march under a single Korean “reunification flag” at the games. They have also formed a joint Korean Women’s Ice Hockey team. The two countries came to these agreements after meeting at the International Olympic Committee headquarters. Despite disapproval from some U.S. and Chinese officials, the two nations plan to publicly display solidarity.

Both governments intend to use the Olympics, which some have dubbed “The Peace Olympics”,  to improve inter-Korean ties. Will this year’s Winter Games be a positive turning point for diplomatic relations on the peninsula? Only time will tell.

(Image courteous of CNN)