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REFILE-In South Korea, overseas cryptocurrency offerings skirt local clampdown

From Reuters - April 17, 2018

SEOUL (Reuters) - Six months after South Korea banned the issuance of new cryptocurrencies, they are starting to creep back into the country by using overseas listings for local trading.

The country prohibited initial coin offerings (ICOs) starting in September. Soon afterward, South Korea's financial regulator made it difficult to trade cryptocurrencies anonymously, and trading volumes in digital money such as bitcoin BTC=BTSP promptly collapsed in what had been their busiest market.

Icon, a newly launched South Korean digital currency, is the markets first attempt at changing that deadlock via a simple method: it was issued in Switzerland.

Launched by DAYLI Financial Group, Icon is listed in Bithumb and Upbit, South Koreas major cryptocurrency exchanges, and started trading on March 21.

Icons listing in local exchanges is significant itself as the coin is South Koreas first platform coin, built on code that can be used for other applications, said Park Nok-sun, a cryptocurrency analyst at NH Investment and Securities.

Touted as Koreas answer to the popular Ethereum cryptocurrency, Icon launched at a price of $0.11 and is now trading at 2,814 won ($2.64).

Kim Haw-joon, co-chief of the Korea Blockchain Association, predicted that local exchanges would begin handling more such foreign-issued cryptocurrencies as a way to reinvigorate cryptocurrency trading.

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