A man walks past a board showing exchange rates of various crypto-currencies in Seoul. Photo: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korea could be about to once again allow initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to the Korea Times.

Last year Seoul rocked the crypto world by banning these fundraising rounds, that are akin to IPOs, after the government announced it could not classify crypto-currencies as money, currency or securities and therefore could not regulate them.

“The financial authorities have been talking to the country’s tax agency, justice ministry and other relevant government offices about a plan to allow ICOs in Korea when certain conditions are met,” an anonymous source told the Korea Times.

A framework that set out tax, regulation and legal guidelines for the exchange market would all have to be established before ICOs would start again, said the source, and fundraising would only be possible on products that related to “advance blockchain-related technologies”. Which has to mean staying away from the speculative end of the sector.

Even so, if this does happen, it is significant.