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Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange granted full regulatory license

Tony Zerucha



The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange Group (GSX Group), and an institutional-grade token sale platform and digital asset exchange, has been granted a full license as a provider of distributed ledger technology (DLT) from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). Provided under Gibraltar’s Financial Services Regulations 2018 DLT framework, the license means the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) has become the first stock exchange to own a regulated blockchain exchange.

The introduction of Gibraltar’s DLT regulatory framework in January 2018 was heralded as a significant step for the global blockchain ecosystem. The framework has helped position Gibraltar as a host of blockchain and crypto innovation.

“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,” GBX CEO Nick Cowan said. “Today’s announcement renews our ambition to create a world leading, institutional-grade token sale platform and digital asset exchange.

Nick Cowan

Attaining a full DLT license caps a significant period for the GBX, which underwent its full-scale public launch in July 2018. Unique features include fiat onboarding for customers and multiple trading pairs. USD onboarding is currently available for customers, with multiple USD pairs available to trade on the platform. In the near future, there are also plans to offer more fiat currency onboarding options on the exchange and more trading pairs.

“This license means a great deal to the entire GBX community, not least our users,” Mr. Cowan added. “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. Today’s authorization is an endorsement of this long held position and evidence of the hard work put in up to this point.”

As part of the initial application assessment, GBX began communication with the GFSC to determine whether its proposed business activities would require licensing. Upon confirmation, a full submission was then subject to an initial GFSC risk assessment. The GBX then made an in-person presentation to the commission, outlining an extensive business plan and details on how the exchange planned to meet the nine regulatory principles. GBX’s license is Category 3, representing the highest category available within the DLT regulatory framework. 

“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,” Mr. 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. I look forward to seeing this trend continue in the months and years ahead.”

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha is an alternative finance journalist with more than seven years experience in the space. The author of more than 1,000 articles, Tony was named LendIt's 2018 Journalist of the Year.

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