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How South Korean Island Province Leads the Way in Blockchain Adoption

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

The South Korean government may have dampened the spirits of blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts with a decision to uphold a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) earlier this year, but it many advocates remain undaunted – with developments coming apace on the island province of Jeju.

Source: iStock/CJNattanai

Jeju is a “special self-governing province,” and as such is subject to its own set of laws and regulations. Readers may recall that the province’s governor, Won Hee-ryong was elected last year on a platform of pro-crypto and -blockchain technology policies.

The province’s Social Welfare Council has announced that it will now record its minutes and store its meetings-related materials on a blokchain-powered platform. Per media outlet IT Daily, technological support has been provided by GOB Platform, a South Korean company with a base in Singapore.

And Jeju’s Blockchain Smart City Organization (JBCSCCA) – a body that was created with the approval of South Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communication in November last year – has sworn in its first chairman, Kim Myung-man. Kim is a former MP and governor of the island province.

Per ZDNet Korea, at his inauguration ceremony, Kim pledged to create a cryptocurrency exchange, and the project’s CTO told attendees that the platform could handle transactions at “speeds several times faster than existing exchanges.”

The CTO said that the exchange project was “also pursuing cooperation with three countries, including Russia.”

The JBCSCCA spoke of launching a range of further provincial government-backed blockchain ventures, including a blockchain business entry training program, which will begin in early April. The training program will be conducted in conjunction with Chinese exchange BCEX (now headquartered in Canada).

Per KiNews, Kim says that the JBCSCCA is also “set to conclude a partnership deal” with the Bitcoin Cash proponent Roger Ver. A congratulatory video message recorded by Ver was also aired at the meeting.

The JBCSCCA will be active in the creation of Jeju’s forthcoming “Crypto Valley” project, an ambitious, 330,600sqm blockchain-themed zone to be built on the island, including blockchain incubators, shopping centers, residential complexes, hotels and even an amusement park. Island authorities are hoping the project will attract international blockchain enthusiasts.

Kim added that the Crypto Valley project would be relying on “foreign investment, particularly from China” for its funding.