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Vanuatu Crypto Exchange Gets Country’s First Stock Exchange License

Vanuatu has approved a stock exchange license to a crypto exchange making it the first such event in the South Pacific island’s business history.

The Vanuatu archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometers east of northern Australia, 540 kilometers northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

The exchange, DSTOQ, after launching yesterday described itself as “the first fully licensed stock exchange for trading security tokens and investing in real-world assets using cryptocurrencies”. However, the new license is only valid in European jurisdictions due it being a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

This is not the first time that the tiny jurisdiction has hit the press as another crypto revelation earlier this year was the news that Vanuatu would patriate new citizens to the islands for the sum of USD 200,000 payable in Bitcoin, a report refuted by the Vanuatu authorities. This is not totally unheard of, as earlier this year, the Thai government offered “elite” residency visas for wealthy foreign citizens, allowing them to live in the country for around USD 3,000 a year, not that cryptocurrency was mentioned.

Two of Australia’s big four banks now have offices in Vanuatu and Forbes has it listed as a potential if not a well-hidden tax haven.

The are other minnows waiting to jump in and get a slice of the fintech pie. Another such location is tiny San Marino enveloped by its neighbor Italy. A partnership this year established between Estonia-based blockchain developer Polybius with the consulting firm Olympus Advisors hopes to put San Marino on the crypto map.

“We are the world’s oldest Republic and we are proud to begin a transformation led by technology,” said San Marino’s Secretary of State for Economic Development Andrea Zafferani. “We believe this partnership will have a significant impact on the economy, growing the innovation sector which is at the core of our development strategy. The Republic will also acquire a state of art set of regulations to become a world-leading blockchain hub.”

Sergio Mottola, executive chairman of San Marino Innovation, claims that the republic is keen to embrace digital innovation and knows that the government’s legislation will support the growing blockchain environment.

 

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