The Legislature of Gibraltar has approved a bill designed to update the territory’s Financial Services regulations. The bill is expected to pave the way for the territory’s introduction of comprehensive legislation governing the operations of companies working in the distributed ledger and cryptocurrency industries next year.
Gibraltar Updates “Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act”
In an explanatory memorandum, the bill states its intention “to extend measures for the protection of investors to the customers of licensees carrying on controlled activities which are not investment services.”
The amendments predominantly comprise the addition of the terms “customers” and “potential customers” alongside “investors” and “potential investors” in numerous sections of Gibraltar’s Financial Services Act. As such, analysts have inferred that the amendments are designed to extend existing regulations designed to protect qualified investors to also cover the engagement of retail investors with products issued by Gibraltar’s distributed ledger technology (DLT) industry.
The Bill Has Been Passed One Month Before Gibraltar Is Expected to Introduce a Regulatory Apparatus Governing the Territory’s Distributed Ledger Technology Industry
The new DLT regulations, the “Financial Services (Distributed Ledger Technology Providers) Regulations 2017”, will see Gibraltar issue a “DLT provider’s license” to successful applicants. DLT providers will be required to adhere to the regulatory requirements of the country’s Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act, in addition to the “regulatory principles” laid out in the new legislation. Gibraltar’s regulators have stated that “Subject to sub-regulation, these Regulations come into operation on 1 January 2018.”
In recent months, the British overseas territory has increasingly sought to position itself as an attractive jurisdiction for DLT and cryptocurrency companies to operate in. During September, Gibraltar announced its intention to develop a “complementary regulatory framework” for initial coin offerings, defying the international trends at the time. In August, the territory saw the installation of its first bitcoin ATM, situated in the reception area of the World Trade Center Gibraltar.
Do you think that Gibraltar will be successful in attracting cryptocurrency and DLT companies to base their operations in the territory? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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Author: Samuel Haig