In what is poised to be the most siginificant development for Gibraltar as a jurisdiction for soing Fintech business, the Governnment has, this week, issued a press release advising of the imminent publication of a consultation by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission on proposals for Distributed Ledger Technology Framework. ISOLAS and it’s Fintech think tank, ThinkFintech.gi, have been busy working with Government as part of the working group that has helped shaped the discussion on these potentially siginificant opportunities for the development of Gibraltar as a centre of excellence and innovation in financial services. Joey Garcia, Partner at ISOLAS commented that ‘the fact that much of this kind of business is Brexit insensitive augurs well for both the traction the industry is gaining in Gibraltar and for the Government’s determination to make Gibraltar a home for this very exciting area of financial services”. The full text of the Government Press release is set out below, as is the link to to the Digital Summit being held on 9th May which ISOLAS are proudly sponsoring as leaders in the Fintech space in Gibraltar.
In January 2016, HM Government of Gibraltar published for consultation a document titled, ‘Virtual Currency: Outline Regulatory Framework’ the second such paper on this subject produced by the Cryptocurrency Working Group. After considering the feedback received from private sector firms and many other interested parties, further detailed work continued on this project including engaging with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The consultation process indicated a strong preference from firms for the GFSC to be the Regulator for these proposed activities.
At Minister Isola’s invitation the GFSC, working with Gibraltar Finance, have created a further document containing ‘Proposals for Distributed Ledger Technology Framework’. The GFSC proposes a regulatory framework for firms engaging in activities not otherwise subject to regulation and that use DLT for the transmission or storage of value belonging to others.
Release of the document for a full public consultation will take place on the 9th May 2017 at the Digital Currency Summit (https://digitalcurrencysumm.it/dcs-gibraltar-blockchain-regulatory- framework/) which will be held at the University of Gibraltar.
Minister Isola commented, “We have worked hard in thoroughly researching the opportunities that could accrue to Gibraltar by creating an environment that would attract and nurture firms that operate in this space. We are also mindful of the risks that any new business line may bring and I feel that we have struck a great balance between the two. I look forward to publishing the document in May seeking at that time considered opinions from a wide range of sources which, as always, will be very welcome.”
Samantha Barrass added, “Together with HM Government of Gibraltar the GFSC is very much looking forward to opening the DLT regulatory framework consultation. We actively encourage innovation by supporting those businesses looking to develop and introduce innovative ideas into the market. The proposed framework will facilitate a progressive, well-regulated and safe environment for firms using DLT to grow, whilst also ensuring that this new regulatory environment protects both consumers and the good reputation of the jurisdiction. We look forward to receiving feedback on this exciting project.”