Category Archives: Gibraltar

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Ledger, Neufund Partnership Latest in Security Token Management Developments

Ledger, Neufund Partnership Latest in Security Token Management Developments

In a press release yesterday, cryptocurrency hardware wallet provider Ledger announced a partnership with blockchain-based equity fundraising platform Neufund to allow users to manage their security tokens on the Ledger desktop app.

The collaboration between Ledger and Neufund will foster a framework developed for securitized tokens, “allowing users to manage real-world assets on the blockchain while creating the safest user-experience for investors”.

Ledger CEO Eric Larchevêque said the partnership “marks a new, important chapter in bringing security tokens to the Ledger platforms”.

The current partnership is built upon an already established collaboration back in November 2017. Then, significant investors backing the Neufund Initial Community Building Mechanism were offered special editions of the Ledger Nano S.

Ledger had recently released its desktop application for crypto asset management and is moving forward with plans to add ERC-20 integration to its app. The app will allow users to manage their blockchain-based security assets through Neufund’s set of protocols.

CEO of Neufund Zoe Adamovicz said: “Currently, Ledger’s hardware wallets are the safest way to set up and manage investments conducted through Neufund’s set of protocols. With operations in the 7-9 digit (EUR) range, security becomes a top priority.”

With security tokens taking deeper roots within the cryptocurrency economy, should security tokens replace or overshadow utility tokens, the race is on to offer the most efficient securitized services to an estimated USD 10 trillion securitized tokens market by 2020.

Recently, Gibraltar Stock Exchange joined Millbrook Accord for security token interoperability. Yesterday, crypto-based fintech operator Bankex expanded its ecosystem to include security token assets trading.

In October, Neufund’s partnership with leading European crypto exchange BitBay allowed investors to purchase security tokens using fiat currencies. The announcement followed other partnerships that involved Malta Stock Exchange and Binance crypto exchange. All in the bid to becoming the first end-to-end primary issuance platform for security tokens focused on equity tokens.

On the other hand, a shift in cryptocurrency investments towards institutions has Ledger expanding shop with plans of including crypto custodian services to its service chain just after making a profit of USD 29.4 million in hardware wallet sales.

The duo further disclosed a planned legal-technical hackathon to be held in Paris, with the objectives of creating a more secure framework for managing real-world assets.


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Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange Granted Highest Operating License

The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) has been granted a Level 3 operating license by the country’s regulatory watchdog. It is the highest license on offer.

The territory’s stock exchange has received a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Licence, making it fully compliant to the nine-point guidelines instituted by the government in January earlier this year. These demand effective corporate governance, operating with honesty and integrity, and that appropriate security protocols must be followed to name a few of the measures.

According to reports, GBX was expected to present its business plan to members of the watchdog in person to prove each of these requirements would be met.

The accompanying press release for the license claims that the Gibraltar Stock Exchange is the sole stock exchange to maintain a regulated cryptocurrency trading platform.

As well as operating as an exchange, GBX allows selected startups to launch their ICOs on its platform. To be considered, they must adhere to tight guidelines and employ an authorized sponsor to ensure these rules remain unbroken. London-based Coinfloor was the first project to be accepted, followed by cryptocurrency comparison service Covesting.

Gibraltar’s DLT framework made it the world’s first jurisdiction in which cryptocurrency companies could operate entirely within the legal paradigm.

It is perhaps unsurprising then that ex-US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) senior official Jeff Bandman named Gibraltar as a leading nation in regards to cryptocurrency exchange regulation. Pointing to the country’s bespoke framework, he noted that this was a trend other countries would be sure to follow.

Indeed, on 1 November, Malta instituted its own similar regulatory framework. The trio of bills makes it the first nation within the European Union to fully regulate the blockchain industry.


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Inclusion of Pro-Blockchain Gibraltar Minister in DC Panel Positive Sign for US Regulation

The Gibraltar Minister for Commerce, Albert Isola, has urged the DC Fintech Week panel to ”collectively strive towards fintech excellence” while sharing his views on regulatory competition in the blockchain industry. The inclusion of a well-known pro-blockchain speaker on the mainstream panel discussion is a promising indicator for the future of the technology in the US, as Isola shared ideas of regulation surrounding the nascent industry.

Visiting upon invitation, Isola discussed his experiences and ideas regarding regulatory competition, including that relevant to his expertise in blockchain. The minister participated in a panel discussion at the second annual DC Fintech Week entitled ‘Making or Taking Innovation?, Regulatory Competition and the Race for Fintech Dominance’, with an audience comprising of academics, lawmakers, policymakers and regulators.

Isola said that his participation gave Gibraltar a chance to prove its ambitions on the global stage as a leader in shaping blockchain regulation, adding, ”As ever, Gibraltar continues to punch above its weight, and is fast becoming an assertive voice in an increasingly noisy space.”

The panel was joined by a number of experts from the fintech and cybersecurity sectors, including Peter Kerstens, Co-Chair of European Commission Fintech Taskforce, and Sharon Yang, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Markets at the US Treasury.

The Gibraltan minister frequently acts as a spokesman for the country’s progressive blockchain and cryptocurrency policies, participating in conferences globally to share the concepts that have fostered the industries internally. Gibraltar remains in competition with its fellow European nation of Malta to gain status as the most crypto-friendly country in the region.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has been a critic of the cryptocurrency industry, with the US generally failing to be recognized as a hospitable nation for blockchain start-ups.


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Gibraltar Launches Advisory Group for Blockchain Educational Courses

Gibraltar is working to increase blockchain awareness in the crypto-friendly zone as the government has announced the setting up of a new advisory group that will focus on the development of blockchain courses. The news reported by the Gibraltar Chronicle on October 19 shows that the government is working to create blockchain resources for the fledgling industry.

The group is named the New Technologies in Education (NTiE) group and is reportedly a joint initiative between the University of Gibraltar and the local government along with inputs from a number of tech firms in the British territory. The NTiE will work to address issues in both the government and private sector and train personnel for the future.

The courses will be launched later this year and will be designed with significant input from the industry innovators that are setting up shop around Gibraltar and getting approval from the financial regulator. The Gibraltar university will use the opportunity to develop more human resource in the field including in DLT, coding and smart contracts. Professionals who pass this course will be eligible for a Certificate of Competence as well.

According to the Minister of Education John Cortes:

“The launch of the NTiE advisory group continues to build momentum for Gibraltar as a hub for new technologies, following the announcement in January 2018 that Gibraltar would be the first jurisdiction globally to introduce legislation around Distributed Ledger Technology.”

Gibraltar’s attempt to boost its blockchain resource is badly needed as the self-governing country is seeing more and more crypto startups being set up. The government needs to catch up if it needs to be as competitive as other blockchain hubs in Europe including Switzerland, Malta, and Germany.

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Crypto on the Rock: Gibraltar Gets Its First Regulated Exchange

The tiny British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula is to get its first fully licensed exchange, Coinfloor.

Coinfloor, the UK’s oldest crypto exchange is the first to be fully accredited as a “distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider” under the legislation which requires the government to satisfy itself that 9 operating principles of good practice are being adhered to.

Obi Nwosu, the CEO of Coinfloor, commented that these were all met by his company, including those which guarantee adequate AML and KYC safeguards and security against the risk of cyber attack. He said:

“What impressed us was that this [legislation] was in the works for a long time… It’s been well thought out, well considered. They are focusing in on quality over quantity.”

Gibraltar, known affectionately as “The Rock” among residents and visitors, and home to the only Barbary macaques living in Europe, has begun attracting new and existing fintech companies to its shores. It is attempting to follow in the footsteps of other European countries such as Malta and Switzerland, both of which have seen the arrival of major cryptocurrency players like Binance and Bitmain in 2018. It now holds regular events such as the Gibraltar International Fintech Forum, demonstrating the country’s serious intent when it comes to encouraging fintech companies to do business there.

Coinfloor’s CEO said that he was glad to be able to fulfil the requirements of the new legislation, thereby securing a position in Gibraltar’s blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem, particularly as the UK exchange had recently been forced to lay off employees due to weakening demand in the UK through Bitcoin’s fall from its 2017 highs. He argued:

“It’s never desirable to make these changes, but it’s a natural part of the market cycle… The market has contracted and you should make appropriate changes to your team . . . It’s happening across this space.”

Despite some companies looking to Gibraltar as a possible home, it is more likely that Malta, with its vibrant crypto community and favourable blockchain legislation, will be become a favourite with established exchanges and startups, particularly given the ongoing concerns regarding a no deal Brexit.

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