Speaking at an official meeting last month, which was attended by the South Korean finance minister and deputy prime minister, Won Hee-ryong the governor of the island, said:
Blockchain is an opportunity for Korea to take the lead in global internet platform development.
On the basis of his premise, the governor proposed that the South Korea the central government, along with Jeju Island’s local government and various private blockchain experts, form a task force to discuss various ways that Jeju can effectively become the Korean cryptocurrency hub.
What’s Good About Welcoming Blockchain Technology?
Backing up his proposal, the governor credits the implementation of the idea as a move that will have a positive impact on both the provisional and central government. According to Won, a blockchain hub on Jeju Island would enable blockchain startups to hold initial coin offerings on their home soil, rather than being forced to turn to foreign countries where the regulatory climate is more favorable.
Won outlined the numerous benefits to be had by welcoming and nurturing the development of blockchain technology on the island:
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. […] For Korea to become a leader rather than a consumer of this new global industry, we need to quickly allow [the operation of] blockchain and cryptocurrency [firms].
So What Happens Next?
Despite the benefits of blockchain, the odds are not entirely in Won’s favor. While the South Korean government has not taken the step of outright banning ICOs, it did designate them as a “fund-raising activity without permission,” essentially making it illegal to launch an ICO within the country. However, sources confirm that Jeju Island government is working on setting effective strategies to ensure that the Island has fully welcomed bitcoin technology.
A Jeju Island government official noted:
We are currently in the process of a reshuffle to create a department dedicated to developing the blockchain industry on the island. […] Things will become more materialized by the end of this month.
Do you think that Won’s notion of a blockchain hub on Jeju Island will succeed? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons