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Jeju Seeking to Apply Blockchain to Public Administration
Governor Intends to Create ICO Special Zone
Jeju Seeking to Apply Blockchain to Public Administration
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • September 3, 2018, 11:23
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Jeju Governor Won Hee-ryong (fifth from the right in the front row) meet with blockchain and cryptocurrency firms in Seoul on August 30.

The Jeju Special Self-Governing Province is planning to launch a series of blockchain-related projects as part of its efforts to turn the island a hub for blockchain technology and initial coin offerings (ICOs). According to industry sources, the province is going to apply the technology to land management, VAT refund, carbon reduction, and other administrative services.

The province plans to launch a blockchain-based land register project in cooperation with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. It is expected to contribute to preventing tax evasion and fraudulent land transactions.

At present, VAT refund is done at Jeju International Airport, making it difficult for foreign tourists to spend the refunded cash on the island before their departure. Once the blockchain technology is applied, however, tourist can get the refund immediately at the stores where they have purchased goods. Then, they can spend the refunded money on the island, which will contribute to expanding consumption and increasing the profits of small businesses.

In the meantime, Jeju is aiming to become a carbon-free island by 2030. In this context, the province is planning to provide some points for residents who use electric vehicles, collect garbage on beaches, stop using disposable cups, and so on. They will be allowed to trade the points in cryptocurrency markets.

“Blockchain will be applied to public administration, tourism and low-carbon services so that people can feel the change,” said Jeju Island Governor Won Hee-ryong. “Also, we are going to persuade the central government to lift the ban on cryptocurrency issuance in order to make South Korea a leader in the development of blockchain technology and platforms. It is one of the areas where South Korean companies can do better than anyone else.”

Under the circumstances, an increasing number of firms are coming to Jeju, asking the governor to raise his voice on blockchain development and ICO encouragement. So far, they have had to conduct ICOs in, for example, Switzerland, Singapore, and Gibraltar, which entails costs such as high corporate taxes, office rents, and conversion fees.