South Korea's Jeju island is seeking to become a free zone for initial coin offerings (ICOs) – a plan, if approved, would allow crypto projects to conduct token sales in the self-governing province despite the country's tough stance on the issue.
Korean news outlet JoongAng Daily reported on Monday the governor of the Jeju province has proposed the plan in a meeting last week with central government officials and lawmakers including Korea's finance minister.
Governor Won Hee-ryong indicted that with the proposed plan, he intends to make Jeju island a blockchain hub where projects that focus on innovation will be free to host ICOs as a way to finance their companies and services.
The aim, according to Won, is "for Korea to become a leader rather than a consumer of this new global industry."
In addition, as part of the plan, Won is also seeking to form a task force with officials from both the Jeju province and the central government as well as industry experts, in a bid to advance his government's support for blockchain development.
Designated as a self-governing province in the early 2000s, the Jeju island government has enjoyed a high level of administrative autonomy as part of the country's effort to boost economic and tourism development in the area.
While it remains to be seen how the proposed plan would play out, it comes at a time when Korea's central government has followed China's lead to announce that unauthorized ICOs are deemed as illegal fundraising activities.
However, talks of lifting South Korea's ban on ICOs were already seen among lawmakers in the country, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
Jeju island image via Shutterstock
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