Gibraltar: A History of Innovation
Gibraltar may be geographically small, but what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in vision. Gibraltar may inspire images of monkeys roaming freely, iconic out-of-place red British phone-boxes in Mediterranean streets, and of course the lone Rock of Gibraltar; but it should also conjure images of innovation, technology and progress. Long home to the online gaming and casino industries, Gibraltar leverages it’s unique geographic position as the Gateway of the Mediterranean to attract technology sector businesses from across the World.
Likewise, the people of Gibraltar, a British Crown dependency, have proven their resilience over the centuries, creating a vibrant culture which embraces change. Gibraltar plays host to a dizzying 15,000 companies, many of which are based in the financial, gaming and fintech sectors, despite only having a population of just over 30,000 people. This could be due, in part, to a welcoming corporate tax rate of just 10%, which attracts a large number of companies to set up their head quarters in the tiny island nation.
So it was only natural for Gibraltar to welcome the blockchain industry to its shores, facilitating the growth of this exciting new sector.
Blockchain has Anchored Itself in Gibraltar’s Crypto Harbour
As one of the first places in the world to welcome with open arms businesses from the gambling and gaming world in the early 2000’s, forming a regulated jurisdiction where companies could operate freely; it’s no surprise that Gibraltar has maintained an ‘open-door’ policy for new technology and innovation in the digital space. Currently, gaming and gambling form an integral part of the economy of Gibraltar, a situation which could be beneficially repeated with the blockchain sector.
Literally, the fintech sector in Gibraltar is colloquially known as ‘The Crypto Harbour’, so if you were in any doubt that blockchain technology had anchored itself firmly in the fabric of Gibraltar’s economy, let that sink in for a moment.
Other evidence that Gibraltar have fully embraced blockchain technology comes from more unlikely sources. Gibraltar United F.C., founded in 1943 and one of the oldest football teams in Gibraltar, has adopted blockchain payments for their players salaries. Team members can now choose to receive payment in cryptocurrency, in contrast to more traditional regular fiat payments; which is surely a goal scored for crypto adoption.
However, there’s far more innovation and adoption occurring in Gibraltar than the purely functional use of cryptocurrencies…
Regulation and Adoption for ICO’s in Gibraltar
In fact, Gibraltar is so positively poised towards blockchain, that the Gibraltar Stock Exchange officially launched a blockchain specific exchange, the GBX Digital Asset Exchange (GBX DAE). The GBX DAE promises secure offerings of tokens, with ‘institutional grade’ exchange facilities, endorsed by the Gibraltar government. This key launch has not only provided a secure place to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and tokens, but according to the Gibraltar Digital Asset Exchange CEO Nick Cowan, speaking in March 2018, there are over 200 ICO’s waiting to launch via the GBX DAE platform.
This huge influx of ICO’s looking to launch on Gibraltar’s shores is due in part to the strategic adoption of welcoming regulatory rules implemented by the government of Gibraltar, which effectively govern new ICO start-ups, in association with the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). These rules, according to one of GFSC’s senior advisors Sian Jones, shall assure that new ICO’s are acting in a legally responsible manner, offering full transparency and disclosure, and following financial best practice.
Why is this so important to blockchain adoption and development? There has long been an increasing burden on financial authorities worldwide, for example the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to safeguard retail investors from fraudulent ICO’s. For ICO’s who are launching with good intentions and a viable product, the Gibraltar Digital Asset Exchange’s rigorous legal framework is a compliant and safe way to launch their ICO, preventing legal issues and ensuring investor peace-of-mind.
BlockScope in Gibraltar
Having already established offices in another major blockchain hub, the island of Malta, BlockScope is well aware of the benefits of locating in hotspots of innovation and development. A key frontier of the blockchain industry, Gibraltar was an obvious choice for the BlockScope Blockchain Development team to remain agile and involved with the latest developments in the fintech space.
When companies looking to launch an ICO choose to locate their business in Gibraltar, they are not only accessing one of the most blockchain friendly jurisdictions in the world, they are also gaining valuable exposure to a large B2B customer and client base with similar goals and priorities in the blockchain space, creating a complimentary development environment where businesses can form strategic partnerships and achieve goals together.
This is a key reason that BlockScope sought to establish a presence in Gibraltar, so we can offer our world leading smart contract development, web development, and blockchain development to the most exciting and innovative projects in the blockchain space; we look forward to the opportunities and business relationships to come.