Jeju Island will become the new ICO-friendly blockchain hub, despite the South Korean ban.
Jeju, is the largest island off the Korean Peninsula. It is the country’s most popular holiday island. Over 400 kilometers south of Seoul, the self-governing province sees a large amount of domestic tourists each year.
The island is currently proposing a plan to become a new blockchain-haven in the region, where initial coin offerings (ICOs) would be allowed despite the ongoing ban in the mainland.
According to local news outlet, JoongAng Dailyon, Jeju’s governor has formally proposed that the central government of South Korea designate the autonomous province as “a special zone for blockchain and cryptocurrency” in its interests in becoming a hub for the blockchain industry. Governor Won Hee-ryong made the proposal during a meeting with high government officials including Kim Dong-yeon, Korea’s finance minister and deputy prime minister for the economy as well as other law-makers last week.
Startups in Jeju’s Island would have no extra charge to hold ICOs, as Governor Won indicated last Monday. This policy would make of the region an attractive destination for domestic projects seeking cryptocurrency fundraising after South Korea’s financial regulators issued a ban on the blockchain sector in September 2017.
Governor Won stated that,
“Entrepreneurs looking to innovate should be allowed to raise funds through cryptocurrency.”
According to Juju’s Governor’s statement,
“Is necessary the need to quickly allow blockchain and cryptocurrency firms to operate without crippling restrictions, for Korea to become a leader rather than a consumer in the new global industry (…) Blockchain can cut costs, provide stable transactions and essentially has the potential to become a game changer that could alter the ecosystem of the internet platform industry,”
Won has reportedly expressed his intentions for the island to become a blockchain hub much like Malta, it remains to be seen if the central government allows the economic policies despite its stance on cryptocurrencies. The provincial government is also in the process of establishing a department
“dedicated to developing the blockchain industry on the island,” an official reportedly stated, hinting it would “become more materialized by the end of this month.”
Meanwhile, some lawmakers in South Korea’s mainland are also hastening legislation to regulate the cryptocurrency sector and overturn the current ban to effectively legalize ICOs.
by Samuel Larreal