Roger Ver Sent Governor of Jeju Island $100 in Bitcoin Cash, Did it Violate Local Policy?
Roger Ver, a prominent cryptocurrency investor who has backed some of the largest companies in the global crypto sector such as Blockchain, Zcash, BitPay, and Kraken, recently sent the governor of Jeju Island of South Korea $100 worth of bitcoin cash at a public event.
Humorous Kim Yeong-Ran Rule Banter
Over the weekend, Ver visited Jeju Island to promote the usage of cryptocurrency and discuss the future of the blockchain industry with the island’s governor, Won Hee-ryong, who has publicly expressed his intent to evolve Jeju Island into the next Zug and Malta of Asia with favorable regulatory frameworks targeted at cryptocurrency businesses.
At a cryptocurrency conference participated by Governor Won, Ver sent $100 in bitcoin cash to the governor and his associates to demonstrate the capability of cryptocurrencies to facilitate the transfer of instantaneous payments.
As Ver tried to send $100 in bitcoin cash to Governor Won, one of the associates told Ver, “in South Korea, there’s a policy called the “Kim Yeong-Ran rule,” to which Ver responded, “is there a legal problem in sending a payment to the governor?”
Governor Won stepped in and told Ver that in the country, it is not appropriate for individuals in a higher ranking, especially government officials, to take items, gift cards, and money worth more than $30 in a single transaction. Hence, technically, Ver sending $100 to Governor Won could violate the Kim Yeong-Ran rule, as the amount is larger than $30.
However, Governor Won emphasized to Ver and the rest of the participants of the conference that he was only bantering and that in this situation, the Kim Yeong-Ran rule doesn’t apply because it was dealt with in a public event and it will be recorded as a special payment by the government, which could be used to fund charities.
Humorously, Governor Won said that he will use the $100 he received using bitcoin cash to pay for dinner after the event, eliminating the possibility of the Kim Yeong-Ran rule applying to that specific transaction.
Why Was Ver in Jeju Island?
Over the past month, with the approval of South Korea’s first cryptocurrency and blockchain legislation on the horizon, Jeju Island and other regional governments including Busan and Sejong have publicly disclosed their intent to focus on growing the local cryptocurrency market and blockchain sector.
Uniquely, South Korea has a piece of regulation in place which excludes Jeju Island from most of the federal regulations established by the government, providing the government of Jeju Island authority to establish its own policies and run an autonomous government.
Jeju Island has been exploring various possible regulatory frameworks it can adopt in addition to the national cryptocurrency legislation to create a friendly ecosystem for cryptocurrency businesses. Apart from tax benefits, the government of Jeju Island has said that it may drop the initial coin offering (ICO) ban on domestic startups, which would allow local companies to conduct token sales within South Korea, in Jeju Island.