Gibraltar's Finance Minister, Albert Isola, talks regulation, Brexit and what hurdles might be holding back institutional crypto trading.
The British overseas territory Gibraltar is rolling out the red carpet for crypto companies, with the country currently in the final stages of voting on regulations that would allow companies to issue and trade digital tokens.
At the end of August 2018, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) communicated “in-principle” decisions on the first batch of seven Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) provider license applications.At the time of writing, it was confirmed that 38 companies have applied to the Gibraltar government for licenses to operate blockchain businesses and some of those will be institutional names.
The nation’s Finance Minister, Albert Isola, was unable to confirm any names of those involved, commenting that the GFSC is currently considering a significant number of other applications that are at different stages of evaluation.
Isola explains, since 1st January 2018, any firm carrying out business, in or from Gibraltar, with the use of DLT for storing or transmitting value belonging to others, needs to be authorised by the GFSC as a DLT Provider.
“We are a mainstream, onshore, well-regulated and compliant jurisdiction,” he says. “The DLT regulatory framework fully underpins this position. We state that consumer protection and safeguarding the reputation of the jurisdiction are at the very core of the framework. As a Government our position and that of the GFSC is as stated on their website.”
Crypto custody for institutional investors
One of the main hurdles holding back the institutional trading of cryptocurrencies is the lack of trusted custody solution and Isola is aware that this is an area requiring significant work.
“We agree completely that institutional money seeking entry into the cryptocurrency markets will require not only institutional custody solutions, but also regulatory certainty,” he says....MORE