Gibraltar publishes DLT guidance, licensing regime, to lure fintech start-ups

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Gibraltar’s Financial Services Commission, in association with the jurisdiction’s government, has published guidance notes spelling out how fintech firms looking to use so-called Distributed Ledge Technology (DLT) may do so if they set up their operations in the overseas outpost known to locals as “the Rock”. 

Distributed Ledger Technology, also known as “blockchain” technology, is currently being embraced by the international financial services industry, which sees it as a potentially revolutionary way to cut costs and boost efficiency. Many jurisdictions around the world, including the US, Singapore, the UAE and Japan have been vying to take the lead in encouraging the development of blockchain-based businesses by creating regulatory environments that would accommodate them.

The guidance notes, published on the Gibraltar FSC’s website, detail how any firm “carrying out [DLT work] by way of business, in or from within Gibraltar” for “storing or transmitting value belonging to others” will need to be authorised by the GFSC as a DLT provider.

One published report called the move by Gibraltar to licence DLT businesses a “first of its kind”.

The GFSC noted that its publication of the guidance notes follows on from a consultation paper published back in May, and that the notes “cover the nine core principles” it set out at that time.

In October, as reported, the Gibraltar government formally published its draft DLT legislation.

In a statement accompanying the announcement of the guidance notes’ publication, Gibraltar minister for commerce Albert Isola said they represented “another important step as we approach the launch of our DLT regulatory framework in January 2018, and will assist new applicants and their advisers to understand and inform the licensing process they will follow”.

On Wednesday, the GFSC will host a presentation at the University of Gibraltar, at which, it says, more  information on the DLT guidance notes will be available.

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