The government of South Korea has unveiled plans to designate Jeju Island a hub for cryptocurrency development, predicting additional revenues of $56.2m over the next five years.
The drive follows encouragement from the Korea Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association for the government to enact its pre-election promise of a “Crypto Valley” on the island.
“Innovative growth cannot be attained only by central government,” said Economy and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon early this month. “To lead to changes in the field, participation by local governments and businesses is essential.”
Jeju Island, a special economic zone able to develop individual legislation, has long been predicted as the future home for cryptocurrency in South Korea.
However, the Korea Blockchain Enterprise Promotion Association has stated that currently “the government is focused on controlling [cryptocurrency] to address negative short-term side effects.”
The statement follows the recent proposal of Revised Tax Law 2018, that mandates “from next year, virtual currency handling businesses will be excluded from the industries eligible for the tax reduction for SMEs.”
Though establishing a cryptocurrency hub on Jeju is projected to create 1800 jobs, head of future planning practice at Industrial Bank of Korea, Jinhyun Park, warned that the Governor of Jeju’s intentions “might not be supported by the central government.”