The proposal to establish Jeju Island as a blockchain and initial coin offering (ICO) hub in South Korea continues as the island’s governor pushes the concept during a governmental meeting.

Job creation

Echoing the ambitions of Malta, South Korea’s self-governing region of Jeju Island is making a bid to become a blockchain-centric special zone, especially with regards to allowing ICOs which are currently banned, to be allowed to operate there.

In a recent meeting hosted by provincial governors that saw the attendance of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the governor of Jeju Island Won Hee-ryong further clarified his stance and plans for the proposal.

The meeting was held in the context of job creation in the country, which is presently an important matter considering the recent announcement of the USD 4.4 billion ‘Growth through Innovation Investment Plan’ that revolves around disruptive technologies including blockchain.

With this in mind, Governor Won believes that the Jeju Island special zone would create around 1,600 jobs. He added that if the proposal is accepted, both domestic and foreign companies would be attracted to do business there, particularly those who are based in countries where ICOs are banned outright.

The Maltese effect

Malta is a prime example of a smaller-scale nation successfully creating a blockchain friendly space with an extremely proactive approach to accommodating startups and larger enterprises in the industry.

The transformation of Malta into a blockchain hub has seen the rapid advancement of regulatory frameworks, innovations, and other occurrences that bolster the significance of blockchain technology entirely.

Won said: “If Jeju Island is designated as a blockchain special zone, international standards and regulations on cryptocurrency should be created to ensure that blockchain and crypto companies that are promoting sound businesses both domestically and abroad can conduct businesses in the province.”


Won revealed the Jeju Island proposal in mid-August and believes that South Korea could quickly become a consumer as opposed to a leader in the industry if the government continues to mull the legalization of ICOs and operations of blockchain and cryptocurrency firms.

Political parties, committees and government ministries recently attended the South Korean National Assembly in a meeting that discussed the future of blockchain technology, which included the legalization of ICOs.

It appears as though there is plenty of progress occurring. On Wednesday, 29 August, Jung Byung-kuka, a “lawmaker of the Future Party, and Block Chain Center (Ohkim’s Law Office)”, co-sponsored an industry meeting with lawyers and regulators in attendance to discuss the future of ICO guidelines.

Furthermore, district judges, lawyers and cryptocurrency experts banded together and formed a Blockchain Law Society to examine, research and study regulatory frameworks for the space. This pushes for clear legislation that would allow for all aspects of the nascent tech to operate to their fullest capacity.


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