At Forkast News, we had the chance to speak with Gibraltarian Minister of Financial Services and Gaming Albert Isola about how his small jurisdiction became a global leader in blockchain regulation. Our chat covered a range of topics, including the possible effect, or lack thereof, of Brexit on Gibraltarian regulation of cryptocurrencies, the growing importance of Asia in the world of blockchain, and how the industry has brought together experts in finance and experts in technology to create an entirely new space for discussion.

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Key Highlights

  • “A sandbox has limitations on businesses that want to engage in that particular sector. And that is why as a government, we decided to actually put a legislative framework in place to enable firms to have the certainty that they weren’t just in a sandbox, they were fully regulated, fully licensed, and we had gone through those businesses with a tooth-comb to ensure that we were comfortable with what those businesses were doing, how they were going to do it, and what standards they were going to meet,:
  • “The ability to have a set of standards and core principles that businesses will have to comply with will be the future for blockchain and will also similarly be the future for tokens and how those are treated or regulated in the future years as well.”
  • “The philosophy that we’ve always had in whatever we do is that we want quality firms fully regulated and licensed in Gibraltar and with their mind and management here in Gibraltar. And it’s that exact philosophy that we’ve transposed into the blockchain space.”
  • “We’re not interested in having 100 or 200 firms. We’re interested in having a manageable number of firms, we’re interested in having a manageable number of businesses that we can regulate properly that care about their reputation as much as we do and enables us to drive forward in our support for the sector.”
  • “There is business for everyone, and I don’t believe that any one of those jurisdictions is going to be the best. Yes, we were the first. Yes, we’re learning. We are watching what other jurisdictions are doing, and quite bluntly, if they’re doing something better than we are, we will change. We want to keep at the forefront of the regulatory framework to make sure that what we’ve got is fit for purpose and works well for our stakeholders. So I welcome other jurisdictions getting involved; I welcome other jurisdictions looking at what we’re doing and criticizing it constructively and saying that we can all make the space a better regulatory framework.”
  • “We’ve never put an advert out in 25 years; we’ve never had to. Our best advert was being ruthless in compliance – being high in the bar of quality that we demand from our operators. So for every one application that we’ve allowed through, we’ve said no to 10. That gives you the kind of badge that people get when they set up their businesses in Gibraltar.”
  • “Our leaders in Asia, they will continue to want to be associated with jurisdictions like us that put ourselves forward as being the quality jurisdiction for that industry. And I think that’s why we will continue to work with Asian firms. We see these firms as our stakeholders, as our partners. So we work with them to help them grow. The more they grow, the more tax we collect, the more tax we collect, the more we can do for our people. So it’s a very friendly circle of life which we all fully get and fully understand. It’s a commercial approach to government; I think that’s the answer.”

Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast.News, spoke with Gibraltarian Minister of Financial Services and Gaming, Albert Isola, about how his small jurisdiction became a global leader in blockchain regulation. The conversation covered a range of topics, including the possible effect, or lack thereof, of Brexit on Gibraltarian regulation of cryptocurrencies, the growing importance of Asia in the world of blockchain, and how the industry has brought together experts in finance and experts in technology to create an entirely new space for discussion.

Isola is enthusiastic about Asia, having had much experience in the region, he projects that the unique work ethic and technological innovation coming out of the continent will cement its place as a leader in blockchain. He also expects that the influence and impact of blockchain on people’s everyday lives will be so gradual but so pervasive that in a number of years, everybody will be using the technology in some way or another without even realizing it.

See related article: In Conversation with Da Hongfei, Neo: China-Born Digital Asset Protocol

In order to expedite this future, Gibraltar has made itself one of the more trusted, compliant jurisdictions for blockchain applications. Its adaptiveness and passion for global dialogue are, Isola states, part of what has brought it such acclaim, and its unrelenting emphasis on quality only ensures that this respect remains going forward.

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