Gibraltar Steps In as a World First ICO Regulator

Gibraltar announced that they will be introducing the world’s first regulations for initial coin offerings with dedicated rules for the cryptocurrency sector whose fast growth has triggered concern among central bankers.

The draft law of these kind shall regulate promotion, sale and distribution of digital tokens on the territory of Gibraltar and, as of that, it’s considered to be the first ever set of regulations developed specifically for ICOs.

One of the principal aspects of Gibraltar’s ICO regulations will be the introduction of the concept of “authorized sponsors,” who are supposed to be “responsible for assuring compliance with disclosure and financial crime rules,” said Sian Jones, one of GFSC’s senior advisors.

The draft law will also establish disclosure rules that will require ICO projects to provide “adequate, accurate and balanced information to anyone buying tokens”, the government and Financial Services Commission said to Reuters.

Just to remind you, Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange is actually a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, which is an extremely crypto-friendly exchange.

This move comes as Gibraltar has been exploring ways to optimize and expand its financial services industry beyond gaming. Don’t forget also the fact that Gibraltar will be exiting the EU along with its parent nation, Great Britain, in 2019. This move is also being closely watched by regulators from across the world, including Britain and Singapore, who may come forward with their own rules.

Cryptocurrency has been an area of Gibraltar’s interest last few months. Just in January, they issued the world’s first license for FinTech firms with a focus on leveraging the blockchain.

“We remain fully committed to ensuring that we protect consumers and the reputation of our jurisdiction,” said Albert Isola, Gibraltar’s commerce minister.

Gibraltar is also reviewing its rules for investment funds that involve cryptocurrencies and tokens. Around $3.7 bln where gathered up on the Initial Coin Offerings in the past year which is much more than in 2016 counting only $100 mln. The growth is what poked Gibraltarian officials to make their move.

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Teuta Franjkovic

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