CORRECTED – Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange Granted License from Financial Regulator

CORRECTED – Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange Granted License from Financial Regulator

By Diana Ngo - min read
Updated 22 May 2020

The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange Group (GSX Group), has announced that it has been granted a full license as a provider of distributed ledger technology (DLT) from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The company said that the license makes GSX the first stock exchange in the world to own a fully regulated blockchain exchange.

“Securing authorization as a DLT provider here in Gibraltar is affirmation of our tireless efforts to position the GBX among the premiere Digital Asset Exchanges globally,” said Nick Cowan, CEO of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange.

“Today’s announcement renews our ambition to create a world leading, institutional-grade token sale platform and Digital Asset Exchange. We’re incredibly excited to build on this wave of momentum following our full-scale public launch in July.”

GBX is an institutional grade token sale platform and cryptocurrency exchange featuring USD onboarding for customers, as well as a number of trading pairs. It launched in full-scale in July 2018 and plans to offer a greater number of fiat currency onboarding options on the exchange, as well as a more extensive list of trading pairs.

“From the very beginning we have sought to build a platform defined by stringent regulatory safeguards and effective risk-based controls, while promoting the sensible and sustainable development of the industry,” Cowan said. “Today’s authorization is an endorsement of this long held position and evidence of the hard work put in up to this point.”

The DLT license application took about six months, it said, and included an initial risk assessment by the GFSC, an in-person presentation to the regulator that outlined its business plan as well as details of how the exchange planned to meet the nine regulatory principles.

Gibraltar introduced the DLT regulatory framework in January 2018, making it the first jurisdiction to pass regulations around blockchain and crypto assets. As of July 2018, 35 companies had applied for licenses to operate blockchain businesses.

The framework and the government’s friendly stance towards blockchain and crypto has made the country an attractive choice for young startups.

Some of the startups based in Gibraltar include MediBloc, a healthcare platform presenting targeting Asia, WaveCrest, a crypto payment startup, Globitex, a digital asset exchange, and Coinfloor, a Bitcoin exchange originally from London that was awarded a DLT license last month.

“Gibraltar has found the right blend of sensible and supportive regulation, which has helped position the jurisdiction as a lodestar for the global cryptocurrency space, while allowing blockchain companies to flourish,” Cowan said.

“Gibraltar’s emergence as a leading crypto hub hasn’t happened as a result of rushed regulatory action, but rather a methodical, considered approach.

“Crucially, here in Gibraltar there has been a realization that the pursuit of innovation should never come at the expense of sustainability and long-term development.”

[CORRECTED November 27, 18:01 GMT: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that GSX was granted a category 3 license, the highest category that can be granted within Gibraltar’s Financial Services Regulations 2018 DLT framework.

The category system refers to the application process to get a license, not the license itself.]