South Korea’s Jeju island is devising a plan that will help it become a blockchain hub whereby initial coin offerings (ICOs) will be allowed in the autonomous province regardless of the present ban in the mainland.
Jeju Island has officially suggested that the central government of South Korea consider the island as “a special zone for blockchain and cryptocurrency” as it hopes to become a safe haven for the blockchain industry.
Jeju Island governor Won Hee-ryong made the suggestion during a meeting with high-ranking government officials including Kim Dong-Yeon-Korea’s finance minister and deputy prime minister for the economy including other policy markers last week.
The largest island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island is also the country’s most famous holiday island. Just about 400 kilometers south of Seoul, the self-governing province have a vast majority of domestic tourists as visitors.
Governor Won explained that startups in Jeju would be allowed to hold ICOs in the island, creating a pleasing destination or domestic startups finding fundraising via cryptocurrency following the ban by South Korea’s financial regulator on the sector in September last year.
“Entrepreneurs looking to innovate should be allowed to raise funds through cryptocurrency.”
Additionally, the government official expressed the need to “quickly allow blockchain and cryptocurrency” firms to operate with making bans “for Korea to become a leader rather than a consumer” in the emerging but “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 reportedly told policymakers during the meeting.
It is yet to be seen if the central government will ease on its decision regarding cryptocurrencies but Jeju province has already gained from a vast hands-off approach by the center to encourage tourism and businesses develop in the island.
Moreover, the provincial government is on the verge of creating a department “dedicated to developing the blockchain industry on the island,” according to an official report, suggesting it will “become more materialized by the end of this month.”