[THE INVESTOR] Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Gov. Won Hee-ryong said on Sept. 18 that he would continue to make efforts to allow initial coin offerings although the central government banned them last year.
“Speculative investments and money laundering schemes are not essential parts of blockchain and cryptocurrencies,” he said at the Blockchain Seoul conference. “People should pay attention to the token economy’s potential as there will be significant changes to the conventional economy and society.”
As a special self-governing province, Jeju Island can iron out the current regulatory hurdles for blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses by setting up its own rules and standards, he explained.
Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong.
“Jeju will try to partially give permission to companies that comply with cryptocurrency guidelines,” Won said, reaffirming his previous stance on capital raising with digital assets.
The Korean government banned ICOs in September last year due to concerns over excessive speculation and fraudulent activities.
Although it was aimed at protecting investors, some critics and businesses have argued that the ban prevents the emerging industry from growing, giving ground to other nations and foreign companies to take the leadership in this segment.
Among the nations that are trying to claim the crown of the most crypto-friendly market are Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, Lithuania and Estonia.
Most countries have established regulatory sandboxes, which allow companies to experiment with new technologies under the supervision of a regulator to foster innovation.
“Advanced regulations and tax-friendly policies fueled the success of Switzerland as a crypto nation,” said Cecilia Mueller Chen, CEO of Crypto Valley Association in Switzerland, during her speech.
She added that the Swiss government is trying to adopt digital coins in daily life as people can, for example, incorporate a business and make purchases with the coins. The blockchain community and government agencies in the European nation are also discussing rules on bankruptcy proceedings of blockchain-based companies, she said.
Some of the speakers at the conference touched upon the need for new regulations for the healthy growth of the emerging industry.
“In Singapore, intermediaries and exchanges are required to seek legal opinion to ensure compliance of relevant regulations,” said Chia Hock Lai, president of Singapore FinTech Association.