Much like the patent race that we have been witnessing in recent months, there is a race among nations and blockchain adoption. In the past year, we have seen the likes of Switzerland, Malta, and now Jeju Island all openly state their intentions to become a blockchain hub. This means a friendly corporate atmosphere for blockchain companies and ICOs.
Jeju Island is in a unique position because they are a Korean Island. South Korea, as most know, enacted an outright ban of ICOs in late 2017. What makes this interesting is that Jeju Island, although part of Korea, operates as an autonomous province. Simply put, they get to make their own rules.
When meeting with high ranking officials, the governor of Jeju Island, Won Hee-ryong, stated, “Blockchain can cut costs, provide stable transactions and essentially has the potential to become a game changer that could alter the ecosystem of the internet platform industry.”
The governor has publicly stated, in the past, his intentions of fostering growth within the industry. He has even used Malta as an example of what he would like to achieve on the island. Although Jeju Island might achieve this goal soon, the mainland may not be far behind. It has been noted that the government is working with fervor to establish regulations, and essentially overturn the ongoing ICO ban.
Home to what is known as ‘Crypto Valley’, Zug, Switzerland is already a hotbed for blockchain talent. Due to early trailblazers such as Niklas Nikolajsen, the country has been exposed to digital currencies for years. Niklas is credited with creating Bitcoin Suisse in 2013. In doing so Switzerland received early education on the potential benefits that this technology affords. This has given them a head start on acceptance, and developing a friendly stance towards the technology.
The name ‘Crypto Valley’ was given to Zug, as many blockchain based companies have chosen to set up shop there, not only for the friendly stance, but due to low corporate tax rates. The name is a play on ‘Silicon Valley’, where many of the tech companies from the last tech boom are situated.
This tiny island is situated in the Mediterranean Sea. Home to under 500,000 residents, this European island has welcomed blockchain with open arms. Looking to carve out a place in the industry, Malta was one of the first countries to actually develop and enact regulatory framework for blockchain. This framework was announced on July 4, 2018.
Proud of their accomplishment, the office of the Prime Minister of Malta tweeted the following regarding the framework.
The 3 Bills that will regulate DLT have been approved by Parliament and enacted into law. Malta , the first world jurisdiction to provide legal certainty to this space. #blockchainisland @JosephMuscat_JM
— Silvio Schembri (@SilvioSchembri) July 4, 2018
Recognizing the stand that Malta was taking, multiple major exchanges have already began operating within the island. The most notable of these include Binance, and OKEx
Overall, we are seeing a variety of nations looking to adopt blockchain technology. As these nations jump on board and develop friendly regulatory framework, other nations will undoubtedly follow suit. These hubs are of vital importance during the infancy of this industry. By fostering healthy growth now, a strong foundation will be available for where the tech can take us.