South Koreans Ask Government for Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Regulation-Free City

Residents and citizens of South Korea have formally requested the country’s government and the executive office of President Moon Jae-in, better known as the Blue House, to provide a cryptocurrency and blockchain regulation-free city within the country.

For many years, the South Korean government has utilized a petition system to communicate with its citizens and potentially impose new regulations or make changes to existing policies based on their requests. Last year, local citizens filed a petition to the Blue House to revoke the announcement of Justice Minister Park banning cryptocurrency trading.

The very next day, after more than 130,000 citizens had signed an official petition submitted to the Blue House, Minister Park’s proposal was revoked and the government offered a public apology.

South Koreans utilize the petition system, which can be accessed on the official website of the Blue House, to publicly communicate with the government on a variety of topics. This year, various petitions were taken into consideration by the government, including a petition requesting stricter punishment for rapists and a penalty for two South Korean Olympic skaters who failed to show professionalism on the world stage by purposely sabotaging their teammates.

This week, the people of South Korea have formally asked the government to shift from being a fast follower or an early adopter, to being a first mover in embracing innovative technologies and emerging solutions such as blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.

The new petition, which expires on May 9 and already has 3,500 signatures, asks the Moon administration to eliminate policies that prevent companies in industries like blockchain, cryptocurrency, Internet of Things, IT, fintech, and AI from making technological advancements. The petition notes that a high-ranking official at Samsung, the largest conglomerate in South Korea, has stated Samsung was able to evolve into a global leader in manufacturing because local authorities were not aware that its industry existed a few decades ago.

The Samsung executive added that it is no longer possible for a dominant company like Samsung to exist in other markets like finance because of the government’s strict and impractical regulations.

The petition emphasizes that Switzerland has evolved into an international hub for cryptocurrency businesses, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and EOS. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has permitted private ICOs such as the Telegram ICO to be conducted if they are compliant with existing regulations, and the country has attracted many of the leading talents in the blockchain sector.

However, South Korea has not been able to take advantage of its blockchain sector and other emerging industries within the technology sector, in spite of the exponential increase in demand for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology from local users and investors.

To ensure that South Korea’s blockchain industry and cryptocurrency sector can grow without governmental interference and impractical regulation, the petition asks the government to:

  1. Re-evaluate blockchain and cryptocurrency regulations
  2. Create a region or area within South Korea wherein cryptocurrency startups and businesses can operate freely, without restrictive regulations and policies.