The purpose was to create a bridge between governments and companies pushing the growth of the domestic blockchain industry.
February 28th, 2019, Seoul – ICON, one of the largest blockchain networks, sponsored a briefing session for constructing the ‘Jeju Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox’ with private companies in attendance in Seoul.
The event was observed by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province of South Korea, and was a well-attended second meeting following the initial session on the 20th. Heeseop Roh, the Director of the Jeju Future Strategy Department, and Youngsoo Han, the Section Chief of the Jeju Future Strategy Department introduced their plans for the “Regulatory Sandbox for Regional Innovation and Growth,” which will be implemented in April.
ICON, based on its presence in the Korean blockchain industry and its strong relationship with Jeju, has prepared this presentation in an effort to improve understanding of the blockchain special zone and increase Public-Private cooperation. More than 60 participants from 30 blockchain companies, including ICONLOOP (tech company of ICON), Deblock (Seoul Launchpad of ICX Station), ICON DApp (Decentralized application) partners including ‘Airbloc,’ ‘Cosmochain,’ ‘Webloc’, ‘SOMESING,’ ‘STAYGE,’ and ‘VELIC’, joined the briefing session.
Local governments, such as Jeju and Busan, are moving forward with becoming designated as blockchain special zones according to the ‘Act on Special Economic Zones for specialized regional development’, which will be implemented in April. Jeju aims to push for three special zones: blockchain, electric vehicles, and cosmetics, and blockchain is the first priority. Jeju plans to apply for the special zone designation when the Districts Act is enacted, and currently handles interest and inquiries through its dedicated website. If Jeju applies for a blockchain special zone, the special zone will be selected after a final review by the Special Economic Zone Commission on Regulatory Freedom presided over by the Prime Minister in July.
Following the local government’s application and approval from the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, companies can utilize three types of regulatory special circumstances (regulatory verification, temporary demonstration, temporary approval), as well as financial support, tax support and reduction of levies. ‘Regulatory verification’ will remove legal grey areas and create a simple system to verify whether or not a project can be authorized, ‘temporary demonstration’ allows testing of an idea prior to specific regulation, and ‘temporary approval’ allows for the creation of a market, under certain conditions, prior to the adoption of specific regulation. With these three regulatory exceptions in place, the blockchain industry in South Korea will have the freedom the thrive and innovate in a safe environment.
ICON stated that “We hope this event will be a great first step toward the creation of regulatory special zones and will continue to bridge the gap between government and private companies to further push the adoption of blockchain technology.”