‘Landmark’ EU ruling for Gibraltar-based Euro Bitcoin exchange

A regulatory development has “opened the way” for the institutional-grade bitcoin exchange to deal with Euro-based payments globally, according to a Gibraltar-based bitcoin pioneer.

Globitex, has been launched as the new bitcoin exchange. It was co-founded by early bitcoin adopter and former founding board member of the Bitcoin Foundation Jon Matonis, who has called the launch and Euro approval “a significant milestone” in its journey to make bitcoin a “truly global currency of settlement”.

Globitex said in a statement that Globitex Holding (Latvia) group company NexPay UAB has been granted an e-money license (EMI) by the Bank of Lithuania to carry out payment services and e-money issuance in the EU.

This, it says, opens a “series of doors” for Globitex exchange, enabling it to take what it calls “an important step” closer to its goal of “dramatically increasing” bitcoin trading volumes in order to facilitate its use right across the spectrum of commodity and money markets. The current operating entity of the Globitex bitcoin exchange is a UK-based Globitex group company.

Matonis points that the acquisition of the EMI licence brings with it the possibility of integrating with the SEPA euro payments system directly through the Central Bank of Lithuania. This will enable NexPay to clear euro payments directly, without the involvement of commercial banks, and to issue IBAN accounts to Globitex clients just like banks issue accounts to clients.

‘Huge step’

“This is a huge step forward in terms of accessibility,” he said. “The regulatory green light for the EMI licence is a leap forward in the development of the bitcoin and broader cryptocurrency industry. This sets a new level of legitimacy for cryptocurrency overall, moving towards widespread adoption.

The newly-issued EMI licence is fully ‘passportable’ to all other EU member states, allowing NexPay to provide clients with payment services and e-money issuance across all 28 countries.

Whilst bitcoin is becoming more and more commonplace and rising, there is still “the fundamental economic issue” that order-book depth and liquidity cannot support very large trade, said Matonis, as it cannot yet serve as a currency of international trade settlement across the world’s financial markets.

“I look forward to this evolution of digital currency trading platforms that ensure futures contracts with a physical delivery component,” he said. “Strong connection to the spot markets, including contract limits and physical delivery that is linked to provisioned commodities, will serve as the market standard for price integrity.’

Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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