Category Archives: Blockchain Hub

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Isle of Man Introduces Sandbox to Promote Blockchain Hub

Isle of Man Introduces Sandbox to Promote Blockchain Hub

The Isle of Man has launched a blockchain office as well as a sandbox for the tech set up by the self-governing British dependency to foster the development of an international blockchain hub, as reported by FSTech.

The authorities have said that the primary function of the office is “to facilitate a dialogue between businesses and regulators”, such that an adequate regulatory infrastructure can be structured in such a way as to provide flexibility in order to help the development of the emerging technology on the island.

The sandbox, on the other hand, will help businesses with access to an “environment where they can develop and test blockchain platforms”, the report reads. It would also seem that the sandbox will be open to international forums and will garner expertise to help strengthen cross-border initiatives.

As an invitation, Lyle Wraxall, chief executive of Digital Isle of Man has said, “We are looking to attract premium blockchain businesses and the world’s top exchanges to the Island.” In its own way, the island is doing what only a handful of jurisdictions have been committed to in the few years that blockchain made mainstream.

The island may have been among the first to establish favorable legislative framework for cryptocurrencies as opined by Daphne Caine, political member for Digital Isle of Man, who said that the island has been home to leading exchanges since 2013, and is the headquarters of blockchain businesses including CoinCorner, Quanta, Luckbox, and Qadre.

More so, by “creating new tech-agnostic regulation inspired by best practice” from other “high-quality” jurisdictions around the world, the island is setting itself up for traction from many blockchain startups seeking non-hostile environments to run their businesses similar to the occurrence in Malta.

Malta is another jurisdiction working towards achieving the blockchain island status. Although it had come under criticism from within as well as cautionary notes from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on its rate of adoption of blockchain technology, however, it wants to stay the course and become a major landmark for the industry.

For most jurisdictions, the process to regulating cryptocurrencies is either slow or undecided as most of them are waiting for comprehensive data to better manage the space without stifling innovation. Others like China have long banned cryptocurrency transactions and while its has formulated regulations for blockchain-based projects, many have ascribed the development as hostile to the industry.

 

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South Korean ‘Blockchain Special Committee’ to Establish New Blockchain Hub

40 international and South Korean experts have banded together to form the Blockchain Special Committee that will establish a blockchain hub in South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province, also known as Gyeongbuk.

Blockchain hub

As reported by local media outlet Daily News, members of the association will be tasked with deliberating and consulting on the creation of “mid-to-long-term strategies” that will foster the blockchain industry.

The committee is to be co-chaired by the vice governor of Jeonbuk Province­­ and a member of the Korea Centre for Blockchain Research, Seongho Park. Among the ranks are 21 overseas members with notable figures such as Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors member Brock Pierce and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea Jeffrey Jones, joining others from Ripple and R-Chain.

The government of Gyeongbuk province had sent a “benchmarking team” to the world-famous crypto valley of Zug, Switzerland. Following the instructions as prescribed by Governor of Gyeongbuk Lee Cheol-Woo, the team has been building an international cooperation system and, finalized international business agreements with blockchain startup specialists from both Switzerland and Israel.

Cheol-woo said, “In order to nurture the block-chain industry, we will work with the special committee composed of domestic and international experts to preemptively respond and establish strategies… Through the integration and investment attraction of new start – I will make it as a future growth engine.”

Gyeongbuk Coin

Prior to this announcement, this region had already begun its blockchain journey with plans to implement a digital currency that will replace a state-backed loyalty scheme known as the “Hometown Love Gift Card”.

Dubbed Gyeongbuk Coin, the new token can be purchased on an exchange for South Korean won and spent at participating businesses. This will be done in partnership with Orbs, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform based in Israel that is touted as a third generation blockchain technology, something of which South Korean investors are keen to adopt.

The government will issue KRW 100 billion (USD 100 million) worth of Gyeongbuk Coin each year, which is the same amount allocated to the previous payment solution.

Infrastructure

South Korea is firmly positioning itself as an active participant in the blockchain hype-cycle and has spent a great deal of 2018 developing public sector blockchain pilots, allocating significant funds to blockchain-related budgets, debating contentious cryptocurrency tax laws, among many other blockchain-related fascinations.

What may prove to be the most telling moment of all this year for South Korea is the impending decision to lift the ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs); with fears of domestic startups suffering under the ban and consumer/investor security at either side of the debate, the decision which is due this month could change the face South Korean blockchain enterprises for better or worse.

 

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