British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar’s Minister for Digital and Financial Services, Albert Isola, recently gave an interview to Cointelegraph and said he’s collecting Bitcoin for his kids because he thinks crypto adoption will soar in the future.
“I’m not at the stage yet where it’s something that I’d use on a regular basis, it’s more about buying some for the benefit of my kids in the years to come. I don’t touch it.”
Even though there are locations that accept payments in crypto, Isola said the actual adoption would increase further as more and more jurisdictions regulate it.
Gibraltar on crypto
Gibraltar has been making crypto-friendly decisions since 2018. At the beginning of 2018, Gibraltar passed a set of regulations regarding blockchain-related businesses. Then, the country started working on the rules for initial coin offerings (ICOs) and distributed ledger technology (DLT) in February 2018. At the time, Gibraltar was the first sovereign nation ever to regulate ICOs.
In August 2018, the country announced that it’ll pay its football team in crypto the following season, making them the world’s first football team ever to get paid in crypto.
At the year-end of 2021, Gibraltar took its crypto-friendliness one step further by deciding to incorporate blockchain technology into governmental processes. In December 2021, the government announced deploying a blockchain-based pilot program to deliver public services.
The country’s most recent step in crypto regulations was to protect its already grown crypto ecosystem. The Gibraltar government released new rules to limit prices, liquidity, or market information manipulation. With this, Gibraltar also became the first government to launch a regulatory framework for market integrity.
Rigid but open to collaborate
In October 2018, U.K. crypto exchange Coinfloor became the first crypto company to receive a blockchain license from Gibraltar. The country’s detailed regulations and long licensing process were perceived as rigorous at the time. Since then, the government has been rigidly applying its regulations while also adopting a partnership-focused approach to the crypto sphere.
Isola explained they would never stretch the rules for anyone. He said:
“If they [DLT companies] are not prepared to meet the standards of regulation and quality that we aspire to, they will not be licensed.”
Gibraltar is confident that its formula works because it has yielded excellent results already. The country has been applying the same strict yet partnering approach to the gaming industry since 2014. According to Isola, the formula worked so great that around 15 gaming companies are currently established in Gibraltar, and they account for 75% of the U.K.’s online gaming.