In a move that is first of its kind by Gibraltar’s government, a piece of legislation was passed on the 6th of December, allowing an amendment in Gibraltar’s Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act to “extend measures for the protection of investors to the customers of licenses carrying on controlled activities which are not investment services.”

Cryptic, Eh? Let us break it down for you

As obscure as the legislation may seem, it actually explains a legal amendment that is intended to allow new rules which were shared last year.

The rules were part of a bid that legally defines blockchain’s use in storing and transferring value under Gibraltar law.

Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s Minister of Commerce, shared his approval on the bill and hinted towards expected demand for licenses once the DLT-specific regulations are formally introduced in the new year.

The minister stated that this makes Gibraltar one of the first jurisdictions in the world to introduce a regulatory framework for business related to distributed ledger technology. He also mentioned that this move provides the regulatory certainty which is required by quality firms that Gibraltar aims to attract towards the region.

It was further explained by the minister that several businesses are waiting to file their applications with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission on January 1, 2018, and this would prove to be great news for them.

Given how the latest bill was passed, Gibraltar’s Financial Services (Distributed Ledger Technology Providers) Regulations 2017 bill is likely to be approved without any hassles as well. 

This is one of the many planned moves in order to regulate the usage of blockchain and transition of value through it, which is not limited to cryptocurrencies.

A statement had been shared in September that dealt with rules related to initial coin offerings (ICOs). Gibraltar regulators will now proceed with developing these rules that are directed towards ICOs on the blockchain funding model.

At the time, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission had stated that it is considering a complementary regulatory framework that covers the promotion and sale of tokens, aligned with the DLT framework. It remains to be seen how these rules will be developed and introduced in the new year.

Gibraltar’s Interest In Blockchain

Institutions from Gibraltar have been actively looking into blockchain as a means of trading value and to keep up to date with the technological advances associated with it. It was only in August that the Gibraltar Stock Exchange announced Cyberhub Fintech as a new strategic partner in order to “fully integrate the use of blockchain into its operational processes from ICO to IPO.” These strategic advances are being welcomed by the business and technology community. Many are eager to see if Gibraltar could emerge as a friendly market for blockchain and cryptocurrency users in the near future.