Gibraltar Eyes Regulations on ICO

Feb 12, 2018 at 23:13

British overseas territory Gibraltar is developing regulations to conduct Initial Coin Offering (ICO)—the first in the world—to protect consumers amid growing adoption of cryptocurrencies.

The Government of Gibraltar (HMGoG) and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) have teamed up to develop legislation on ICOs.

The regulations will include the promotion, sale and distribution of tokens by persons connected with Gibraltar; secondary market activities relating to tokens, carried out in or from Gibraltar; and the provision, by way of business, in or from Gibraltar of investment advice relating to tokens.

“Token regulation is the natural progression following the regulation of DLT (distributed ledger technology) Providers, being vital to the protection of consumers. One of the key aspects of the token regulations is that we will be introducing the concept of regulating authorised sponsors who will be responsible for assuring compliance with disclosure and financial crime rules,” said Siân Jones, GFSC’s senior adviser on DLT.

A draft of the law will be deliberated on by the Parliament in the second quarter of 2018.

At the start of the year, Gibraltar started implementing regulations on DLT, covering licenses for the storing or transmitting of customer assets. However, this did not include capital raising activities through ICOs.

With the proposed bill, Gibraltar will establish disclosure rules, requiring adequate, accurate and balanced disclosure of information to anyone considering purchasing tokens, and measures to detect and prevent financial crime such as money laundering and terrorist financing.

Since the implementation of the DLT regulations, Gibraltar’s Minister for Commerce Albert Isola MP said GFSC has received a number of quality applications.

”We remain fully committed to ensuring that we protect consumers and the reputation of our jurisdiction. In addition, we are also conscious of providing safeguards to those firms that have chosen Gibraltar as their home. I am grateful to all those that have provided their observations on the discussion paper issued in December 2017. The DLT Working Group, which includes members of the Innovation Team at the GFSC, have considered all the issues raised and are now proceeding to prepare initial drafts,” he said.