South Korea's Jeju island is seeking to become a free zone for initial coin offerings (ICOs) – a plan that, if approved, would allow crypto projects to conduct token sales in the self-governing province despite the country's tough stance on the issue.
As reported by Korean news outlet JoongAng Daily on Monday, the governor of Jeju province proposed the idea at a meeting last week with central government officials and lawmakers, including Korea's finance minister.
Governor Won Hee-ryong indicted that, through the proposal, he intends to make Jeju island a blockchain hub in which 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, Won is also seeking to form a task force with officials from both Jeju province, the central government and industry experts in a bid to advance his government's support for blockchain development.
Designated as a self-governing province in the early 2000s, Jeju island has enjoyed a high level of administrative autonomy as part of South Korea's effort to boost economic and tourism development in the area.
The proposal comes at a time when Korea's central government has followed China's lead in announcing that unauthorized ICOs are deemed as illegal fundraising activities.
However, lawmakers in the country have already been discussing lifting the country's ICO ban, as previously reported by CoinDesk.
Jeju island image via Shutterstock