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South Korea: Does Jeju Island Become Asian Malta?

08 August 2018 20:27, UTC
South Korea: Does Jeju Island Become Asian Malta?
By Ann Sotnikova, Catherine Lange

The authorities of the South Korean island of Jeju plan to expand the local cryptocurrency market, as well as focus on the widespread introduction of blockchain technologies. In addition, a special place in the government's plans takes the development of the electric vehicle industry on the island.

It is expected that in 5 years this step will help to attract draw $56.2 million to the treasury and create 1800 jobs.

The Governor of the island, Mr. He-Rong, has repeatedly publicly stated his intention to develop the Jeju Island and to turn it into an analogue of Malta and Zug. These places differ in their legislation that creates favorable environment for cryptocurrency businesses conditions. In addition, one of the pre-election promises of the current government was the creation of "Crypto Valley" in the territory of the island. Given the fact that soon South Korea will adopt the first cryptocurrency law, such statements look very urgent.

Why is it this territory? Jeju Island in South Korea is considered to be a special economic zone. So, it doesn’t depend on most of the country’s laws. As a result, the authorities can develop individual legislation and conduct their own economic policies.

Members of the Korean blockchain promotion Association formed in July are also interested in the transformation of the island into the capital of the South Korean blockchain industry. At a recent briefing, the President of the Association Yoo Joon-sang urged the government to hurry up in the regulation of the basic laws relating to blockchain, ICO and virtual currency exchanges.

However, the experts do not yet seek to judge the prospects of the project. For example, Jinhyun Park, Head of Future Planning Practice at Industrial Bank of Korea says:

“Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with this issue personally. But, according to other sources, the Governor of Jeju Island will propose this kind of ideas to central government and the ruling party, while he is from the opposite party, which I think his opinion might not be supported by the central government and the ruling party. However, since Jeju Island has the right of autonomy and a great place to go for tourist in Korea and East Asia, they could invest quite an amount of money and show some determination going forward. As for me, time will tell and it's too early to predict this project's success or failure”.

In the meantime, the transformation of the island into a blockchain capital is prevented by significant legislative barriers. However, the status of a special economic territory allows Jeju to promote blockchain and cryptocurrency projects.

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