In what appears to be some ‘sparks’ of hope for the legalization of ICO in South Korea, a politician who is reported to have campaigned on issues seen largely to be pro-blockchain and pro-cryptocurrency has emerged winner in a recently held elections for the position of mayor of Jeju Island. The Jeju Island has enjoyed a semi-autonomous status for quite a while now and so is not bound by much of the laws applicable to mainland provinces in South Korea. It operates by what is considered to be a legal regime of its own.
Prior to the elections that saw him sail through as victor, Won Hee-ryong had repeatedly expressed his support and commitment to companies in Jeju who were either already into initial coin offerings (ICO) and those harboring the desire to make their way into the industry. These intentions were expressed in spite of the central government-imposed ban on ICO, a ban the central government is bent on sustaining, in blatant disregard for divergent opinions, including that of pro-crypto MPs and the National Assembly. Hee-ryong expressed his resolve during the campaigns to make use of Jeju`s special legal status if need be.
Cryotonews.com reported an interaction it had with Kim Su-ho, a resident of Jeju and a cryptocurrency investor citing him for expressing some hopes and measured expectancy, hinged on the promises Hee-ryong made prior to his election into the high office of mayor. “If Mr. Won comes good on his promises, this could be great news. I think he envisages blockchain startups coming from Seoul to Jeju – rather than Singapore – to take advantage of our special legal status. If he can pull that off, that could be very exciting indeed”, Kim Su-ho stated.
Hee-ryong stood for the elections as an independent candidate, amassing 51.7% of the votes, reports indicate. He has not as yet backed down on his earlier promises. Reports suggest that Hee-ryong has re-assured residents of Jeju that he will follow through with his plans to create a “blockchain zone” on the Island province, coupled with a digital fiat to be called Jeju Coin.
The new mayor of Jeju has vociferously expressed his disapproval and condemnation of the central government`s current unfavorable cryptocurrency policy, suggesting that such an unfriendly policy is to blame for “forcing many South Korean companies and entrepreneurs to go overseas to attract investment.”
Hee-ryong has also made a public pledge to create a cryptocurrency “sandbox testbed” at the Jeju Science Park, reputed for its high-tech innovations.
Reports trickling in from the capital of South Korea, Seoul indicate that Park Won-soon, the incumbent has successfully sailed through the elections in that part of South Korea, retaining his ‘seat’ as mayor of Seoul for a third consecutive term. Won-soon has on his part promised to create a digital fiat that can be used in Seoul. Interesting times ahead, indeed.
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