In general, Asian countries have been very active in the crypto market and governments tried to control the environment with different regulations.
In 2018, several Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have been released to the market, gathering more than $8 billion dollars. And regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are starting to take the necessary measures to avoid scams and fraudulent activities.
Most of crypto investors that place their bets on Initial Coin Offerings are focused on different points that are very important at the time of analysing an ICO. For example, it is very important to have a good team behind, an active community, a strong white paper, and more. But regulatory parameters are not so important for investors as it should.
It is a key point for ICOs to define whether a token is either a utility token that has a specific purpose or a security. Most of the ICOs in the market right now and their tokens are considered securities. If a company does not want to be considered a security, they must prevent any exchange listing, bounty campaigns and have a product ready to use when the public sale is live.
In China for example the People Bank of China (PBOC) installed a ban on ICO and activities around them. So, companies cannot launch an ICO in Chinese soil. At the same time, all ICOs had to return all the funds to their contributors. $500 million dollars were gathered in China in 2017, but most of them turned out to be exit scams.
In Japan, for example, it has been working in a very open way with virtual currencies, Bitcoin and related activities. Even after this position taken by Japan, the ICO market in the country is not so big. There are very few ICOs located there, the regulatory authorities have taken a hostile position towards these fundraising methods.
The country has very strict rules to start an ICO. It is necessary a license issued by the Japanese government, which is very difficult to obtain.
South Korea is also an important region for virtual currencies. Indeed, the country accounts for 10% of the total trading volume in the crypto market all over the world. South Korea dos not have any official stance towards ICOs or cryptocurrencies in general. Initial Coin Offerings operate in a grey zone, and indeed, we are experiencing an important number of projects coming from this country.
Now, the government is working actively in order to establish a full crypto legal framework on its territory.