Posted on

Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange Insures Its Crypto Assets With Local Broker

The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange has insured all of its assets with local insurance broker Callaghan.

The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) announced that it is offering insurance on all of the assets listed on its platform, in an official GBX blog post Dec. 10.

The exchange reports that it will use local firm Callaghan Insurance Brokers to insure its assets, specifying that “all assets in the custody of the GBX are fully insured, including both hot and cold wallets.” The policy also reportedly “covers all forms of professional indemnity.”

GBX, a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX), opened in July of this year and has raised a total of $27 million in funding. In the past 24 hours, the exchange saw about $8.5 million in trades, currently placing it in 60th place on CoinMarketCap’s exchange rankings by adjusted trade volume.

As Cointelegraph reported, last month the exchange was awarded a license by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC).

As the firm’s blog post states, Callaghan Insurance Brokers is a privately held insurance company based out of Gibraltar The firm’s managing director is also a member of the GFSC’s board.

This is not the first crypto exchange that has managed to obtain insurance on the assets it holds. Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange owned by the Winklevoss twins, also secured coverage for its custodied digital assets from insurance firm Aon this October.

For its part, Gibraltar’s government has recently shown interest in the regulation and development of blockchain technology in the country. As Cointelegraph reported in October, the local government launched an advisory group meant to develop blockchain-related educational courses.

Posted on

Huobi Gains Gibraltar DLT License, Plans Global Exchange Rollout in 2019

World’s third largest crypto exchange Huobi is looking to cater to international traders from a European base.

Major Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has gained a so-called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) license in Gibraltar, a press release shared with Cointelegraph confirmed Dec. 5.

Huobi, which is leveraging the U.K. territory’s encouraging regulatory perspective on the cryptocurrency industry, will use its new status to launch an international platform geared to both retail and institutional traders, the release states, stating:

“The new license gives Huobi the authority to store and transmit digital assets on behalf of clients worldwide.”

In so doing, it will compete with fellow exchanges including Binance, Bittrex and Coinbase in serving traders in as many jurisdictions as possible as regulatory frameworks continue to evolve.

Last week saw Huobi launch a derivatives market in the U.S.

“It’s no secret that we think that well-designed regulatory regimes are a key part of the future for the cryptocurrency industry,” head of global international business Lester Haoda Li commented in the press release:

“Among other benefits, our [Distributed Ledger Technology] license will allow us to open doors to more institutional investors who were previously unable or unwilling to get involved in an unregulated sphere.”

Huobi hopes to debut its service in the first half of 2019.

“To kick things off, we are launching with [over the counter] services but we have no intentions of stopping there,” Li added.

Huobi is currently the world’s third largest exchange by daily trade volume, seeing about $466 million in trades over the past 24 hours.

Gibraltar is fast catching up with permissive European counterpart Malta in luring cryptocurrency businesses to its shores.

The blockchain platform from Gibraltar’s stock exchange also gained regulatory approval this month, while state-sponsored initiatives are also hoping to address the demand for blockchain-related skills.

Posted on

Gibraltar Stock Exchange’s Blockchain Platform Opens to Public Trading

The UK Overseas Territory of Gibraltar launched its Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) July 23, a press release confirmed, opening up cryptocurrency trading.

The GBX was first announced by the Gibraltar Stock Exchange at BlockShow Asia conference in November 2017

GBX, which will ultimately function as a multifaceted ICO and trading ecosystem, currently offers three crypto-to-fiat pairs: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and its own Rock (RKT) token to USD. CEO Nick Cowan commented in the release:

“The launch comes at a time when the cryptocurrency and token markets are reaching a new stage of maturity.”

The move preempts Gibraltar’s plans to enact formal ICO regulations which could open up the tiny peninsula to a host of ICO activity.

In March, GBX claimed it had already received interest from around 200 ICO operators, a number almost equal to the entire ICO cohort of 2017.

Gibraltar has also been active in blockchain regulation, with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) in December announcing what it described as “the first instance of a purpose-built legislative framework for businesses” which are “craving” regulatory support.

Posted on

Switzerland First in Ranking of Top 10 Most Blockchain-Friendly Countries in Europe

Switzerland is ranked number one in a list of the top ten European countries for starting a blockchain company, according to a study released by blockchain conference BlockShow Europe 2018.

In the list of best countries for starting a blockchain company, Gibraltar and Malta follow Switzerland in second and third respectively. The study consisted of 48 European countries that were examined for rankings by Initial Coin Offering (ICO) regulations, regulations on crypto as a payment service, and taxation frameworks for crypto.

Switzerland is known as a crypto-friendly nation due to both its establishment of a virtual currency hub, “crypto valley,” in Zug and its status as a tax-free haven for crypto investors. Gibraltar has reportedly attracted 200 ICOs before the planned launch of its Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), and Malta, the “blockchain island,” has welcomed major crypto exchanges Binance and OKEx recently.

BlockShow also released a poll this week on blockchain-based app Polys that allows users to vote on the leading women and companies in the EU blockchain space. The winners of the poll will be announced during the BlockShow conference at the end of this month in Berlin.

At the beginning of February, the European Commission announced the launch of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum as part of their aim to unite the economy around blockchain. However, more recently, newly approved EU privacy laws – which come into effect on May 25 – arguably conflict with the decentralized nature of blockchain technology.

Posted on

Gibraltar: ‘200’ ICOs Waiting To Launch On New Blockchain Exchange, Managing Director Claims

Gibraltar has already attracted “200” prospective ICOs ahead of the planned launch of its Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), an official announced March 20.

Speaking to Financial Times, GBX chief executive Nick Cowan said that companies have shown huge interest in launching token sales under the British Overseas Territory’s band-new regulated ICO environment.

“GBX has to date been approached by up to 200 applicants seeking to launch their ICO through the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange,” he said.

That number would almost equal the reported 210 ICOs which successfully launched in 2017, when the funding tool hit the mainstream and became a top priority for international regulators worried about fraud.

Gibraltar has been eyeing the creation of a foolproof conveyor for supporting only 100% legitimate ICO offerings for some time.

As plans cement, more information is slowly coming to light, Cowan noting that plans to have “accredited sponsors” draft all whitepapers have already attracted ten candidates. Three of these have already received permission to participate.

GBX is further “scaling up its regulatory team to cope with the demand to ensure it hits its target of five day turnaround on ICO applications for first response,” he added.

ICOs continue to face a tough landscape in many international jurisdictions. A US Congress hearing on cryptocurrencies last week yielded highly mixed responses from lawmakers, with one senator claiming 99% of startups launching ICOs were fraudulent.

Posted on

Gibraltar Plans to Regulate ICO Tokens as Commercial Products

Gibraltar’s government provided new details about its plan to regulate initial coin offerings in a new white paper published on Tuesday.

Notably, the paper states that most tokens are not considered securities under either Gibraltar or EU law. The classification of tokens and ICOs has troubled regulators and government watchdogs, leading to some countries – most notably China – to ban the blockchain use case entirely.

Indeed, the paper notes that “in many cases, [tokens] represent the advance sale of products that entitle holders to access future networks or consume future services.” In other words, tokens are commercial products, not securities, the document argues.

The white paper also outlined an authorized sponsors regime, which would require every ICO issuer selling or distributing tokens in Gibraltar to appoint an individual to supervise the sale and ensure that it complies with regulations.

The release comes amid a long-running process of establishing regulatory boundaries for the use of blockchain tech within the U.K. crown dependency.

Officials from the Gibraltar Finance Centre and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission told CoinDesk in February that the implementation of the sponsorship regime was part of their market-driven approach to ICO regulation, forming part of an attempt to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach. The regime would mean the market, not regulators, could determine what a “good” token sale looks like, according to the document.

Legislators in Gibraltar passed a blockchain-focused bill in December, and previously laid the groundwork for an ICO bill when it published an advisory back in September.

The white paper also states that the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) will “authorise and supervise secondary token market operators” and will establish “a public register of such operators.” Additionally, the government will regulate token-related investment advice, including “generic advice,” “product-related advice” and “personal recommendations.”

According to the white paper, Gibraltar intends to wrap up its blockchain-related regulatory push by the end of this year.

“A draft Bill is expected to be ready by the end of March 2018. Draft Regulations for the promotion, sale and distribution of tokens should be ready in May 2018. The last of the three Regulations should be completed by the end of October 2018,” the paper explains.

Gibraltar on a map image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Posted on

Gibraltar Will Take Market-Driven Approach to ICO Rules

Gibraltar may be moving to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs), but officials say it will be up to the market to determine what a “good” token sale looks like.

The U.K. overseas territory announced that it was drafting ICO regulation earlier this month, which will include the implementation of a system for “authorized sponsors” that will be tasked with managing compliance. Gibraltar’s government outlined a tripartite approach that would address “the promotion, sale and distribution of tokens,” create a well-regulated secondary market related to tokens and establish standards for the provision of advice relating to token investment within its jurisdiction.

“We don’t see a place for us as a regulator, or indeed Gibraltar as a jurisdiction that makes its own laws, for saying what ‘good’ looks like in token sales,” Sian Jones, a senior advisor to the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), told CoinDesk in an interview Tuesday.

Instead, regulators would “rather let the marketplace of authorized sponsors come up with possibly a number of different options of what good looks like,” Jones said.

Jones explained that a one-size-fits-all regulatory approach would be inappropriate for the blockchain funding model, and that Gibraltar is instead developing a set of principles for best practice. With these principles, each authorized sponsor will be able to “come up with its own methodology” to apply to the ICOs or tokens that they sponsor.

Asked if these measures implied a kind of self-regulation on the part of sponsors, Jones replied:

“I don’t know that I would reach as far as saying it’s self-regulatory, but it certainly resonates – the idea that the marketplace will determine what a good ICO looks like.”

Paul Astengo, senior finance executive at the Gibraltar Finance Centre, told CoinDesk that the timing of the territory’s ICO regulation is a product of its efforts to “keep abreast of developments” in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

He explained that the legislation is the logical next step after Gibraltar’s Jan. introduction of a license for companies working with distributed ledger technology, which has made it an appealing destination for blockchain startups.

Likewise, Astengo said, “We want to welcome good quality companies, we want to welcome people that wish to operate that are as concerned for their reputation as we are for ours. And we want to make sure that all of the different elements for this regulatory framework will be enough to support what they’re trying to achieve for their firms.”

Roadmap for crypto fund rules

Astengo and Jones also confirmed reports that Gibraltar is considering regulation related to investment funds associated with cryptocurrencies and tokens.

“We are reviewing the inclusion of crypto-related assets in funds in our investment funds,” Jones said.”I think it’s fair to say that our thinking is not yet as developed as it is around token sales. So it’s a matter that’s under review right now.” Officials expect to iron out additional details on the matter later this year.

Both officials view Gibraltar’s forthcoming ICO legislation as one element in a regulatory framework that will continue to evolve parallel to the progression of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

“We see blockchain and distributed ledger technology as a long game,” Jones said. “We see this as something that will have an important and profound effect on trust relationships with both customers and enterprises, citizens and government, and therefore something which is highly sustainable.”

Gibraltar flag image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Gibraltar's Government Is Moving to Regulate ICOs

Officials in Gibraltar are reportedly weighing rules for initial coin offerings (ICOs), a move that follows a bid to develop a licensure framework for companies working with the tech.

The discussions will include input from members of the British overseas territory’s legislature as well as the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). Like many other countries entertaining ICO regulation, the government there has framed the move as one aimed at protecting investors and consumers.

“One of the key aspects of the token regulations is that we will be introducing the concept of regulating authorized sponsors who will be responsible for assuring compliance with disclosure and financial crime rules,” said Sian Jones, a senior advisor to the GFSC, according to Reuters.

The GFSC previously hinted that it would pursue regulations around ICOs when it published an advisory on the blockchain funding model. At the time, the regulator said that it was “considering a complementary regulatory framework covering the promotion and sale of tokens, aligned with the DLT framework.”

Late last year, the territory put in place a regulatory framework for blockchain businesses that shored up legal status of the technology as a means of transmitting payments. The proposal was first introduced in October, with passage by lawmakers in December.

Government officials said the move would facilitate an environment of certainty attractive to businesses. Gibraltar is also reportedly considering regulation relating to investment funds associated with cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Gibraltar image via Shutterstock 

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

Posted on

Gibraltar To Introduce ‘World’s First’ ICO Regulations

Gibraltar’s government and Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) have announced that in the coming weeks they will develop a draft law that will regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in the British overseas territory, Reuters reported Feb. 9.

The draft law, aiming to regulate the promotion, sale and distribution of digital tokens on the territory of Gibraltar, will be the first ever set of regulations developed specifically for ICOs, the lawmakers claim.

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.

According to Reuters, over $3.7 bln was secured in ICO fundraisers worldwide in 2017, compared to $100 mln in 2016. This rapid expansion of the ICO market is what has reportedly provoked Gibraltarian regulators to take action.

In September 2017, Cointelegraph reported that with fast increasing numbers of ICOs, the GFSC issued an official statement, warning investors of the “highly risky and speculative” nature of ICO fundraising campaigns.