The Gibraltar Government has published draft legislation that will place the Rock at the forefront of regulation in a burgeoning technology-driven sector of the global financial services industry.
The draft Bill and accompanying regulations set out a regulatory framework for companies providing services reliant on distributed ledger technology.
Once approved by Parliament, Gibraltar will become the first jurisdiction in the world to provide a regulatory framework for the technology underpinning many new tech-driven financial services, including crypto currencies.
Publication of this Bill and regulations is “a key milestone” in a process that commenced in 2014 with the creation of the Cryptocurrency Working Group, a private sector initiative driven by Paul Astengo of Gibraltar Finance, consultant David Parody and Joey Garcia of Isolas.
Extensive work and research with leading industry experts then led to three public consultations on the subject and Gibraltar is now on track to provide regulatory certainty in this field in January 2018.
The legislation has been designed to provide “an efficient, safe and innovative regulatory framework” for firms engaging in activities not otherwise subject to regulation and that use distributed ledger technology for the transmission or storage of value belonging to others.
“I am delighted and excited in equal measure to publish this legislation today, after an extended period of thinking, consultation and review with the industry and experts in this field,” said Albert Isola, the Minister for Commerce.
“I am most grateful to the DLT Working Group, Sian Jones, Nicky Gomez and the team at the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and to the individuals who have willingly shared their insight in the creation of this framework.”
“I believe this framework will provide strong long term economic opportunity across many key areas of our economy.”
“International reaction to our initiatve has been overwhelmingly positive and reaffirmed our ability to embrace change in a safe and regulated environment.”
“We have done this before and will do so again.”
“The DLT framework positions Gibraltar as a jurisdiction which facilitates innovation whilst ensuring it continues to meet its regulatory and strategic objectives.”
Samantha Barrass, chief executive of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, said: “Today’s publication places Gibraltar at the forefront of the regulation of Distributed Ledger Technology businesses and is a wonderful example of what can be achieved through greater collaboration among industry, government and the regulator.”
“I truly believe that this regulatory framework demonstrates that regulators can keep up to date with technology without stifling innovation, protect consumers and create a well-regulated safe environment in which financial technology can flourish.”
The Financial Services (Distributed Ledger Technology Providers) Regulations 2017 together with a Bill for an Act to amend the Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act were both published yesterday in the official gazette.
The documents will be available on the http://gibraltarlaws.gov.gi/ and on gibraltarfinance.gi as from the afternoon of Friday 13th October.