BLOG: 2018 reflections and 2019 predictions
Hon. Albert Isola M.P. - Minister for Commerce of Gibraltar
Here in Gibraltar, 2018 was the year of measured action and steady progress on the blockchain front. Not only did we become the first jurisdiction to introduce a purpose built Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT) regulatory framework, but the Gibraltar Financial Services Commision (GFSC) subsequently granted DLT licences to a number of dynamic projects, a phase of activity that is ongoing.
The purpose-built legislative framework introduced in January of this year gave expression to Gibraltar’s principles-led approach to blockchain regulation. Robust engagement between businesses and regulators has been pivotal to this success, and has helped direct the formation of regulation that provides flexibility for guidelines to evolve alongside the blockchain sector. The DLT regulatory framework continues to provide a road to market for quality projects utilIsing the technology, and represents one of the landmark success stories for Gibraltar in 2018.
However, regulation has just been one strand of focus for Gibraltar in the jurisdiction’s emergence as a blockchain powerhouse during 2018. As a jurisdiction, we have always felt that educational development should progress in tandem with regulatory advances. The launch of the New Technologies in Education (NTiE) group, a joint effort between the Gibraltar Government, the University of Gibraltar along with some of the leading new technology companies based in Gibraltar, took place in parallel to the jurisdiction setting out the landmark blockchain regulation. I’m very proud of the progress that has been made in these areas, as we gear up for another stellar year of blockchain innovation.
On the international front, I was proud to represent Gibraltar at a number of high profile conferences and events geared towards blockchain exploration including the Latin American Bitcoin and Blockchain Conference in Santiago Chile, DC Fintech Week in Washington, as well as Gibraltar Day in Tel Aviv. I was also pleased to visit Vilnius, Lithuania, in September where I spoke at #Switch Conference, the largest non-profit ICT and entrepreneurship event in the Baltic States. These appearances provided the ideal platform to broadcast Gibraltar’s approach to blockchain regulation, and demonstrate our jurisdiction’s determination to play a prominent role in the future of blockchain.
The spirit of collaboration is truly alive and well in Gibraltar when it comes to the pursuit of blockchain innovation. While we have undoubtedly earned our reputation as true trailblazers on the international stage, we will not be siloed in our continued efforts. I firmly believe in nurturing and maintaining strong relationships with other nations that share our vision of a future built across Distributed-Ledger-Technology (DLT), so together, we can accelerate the ascent of blockchain technology in our economies and societies.
In 2019, I look forward to further showcasing our credentials as a leading blockchain jurisdiction globally, as we continue to attract significant inward investment with our sustainable and secure regulatory blockchain framework in place.