Gibraltar cements place as crypto hub

Updated Jun 9, 2020 | Published May 27, 2020
[3 mins read]
A tiny region on the map, but crypto big hitter Gibraltar may have been the most successfully regulating region in Europe to date.
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Starting in 2017, the regulatory board of Gibraltar GFSC decided to subject every blockchain-powered company in the region to a licensing process. A year later, on January 1, 2018, the administrative region introduced specific guidelines for what activities were permissible by companies using blockchain in the territory.

At that point onward, Gibraltar became synonymous with crypto and blockchain technology. Because of the changes, residents and companies based in Gibraltar could carry out transactions involving cryptocurrencies and blockchain openly, benefiting from the technology’s inherent benefits, such as speed and anonymity.

In fact, Gibraltar citizens find it very easy to play a variety of games online tapping into blockchain and crypto websites, with the offer extending to online poker, slots, table games, and even live casinos. Depositing with crypto has become a mainstream payment method and one that has been endorsed by many players from ‘The Rock’.

Of course, there have been some legal hurdles. Spanish tax authorities have issued reminders in the form of letters earlier this year to advise crypto asset holders that they would still need to meet their tax obligations.

But why Gibraltar and not Malta? Malta has made a strong bid for crypto tech and blockchain, but of late, efforts have stalled due to mounting piles of red tape. On the other hand, Gibraltar has proven quite flexible in creating a legal framework to help anyone interested to benefit.

The tax neutrality inherent to Gibraltar allows for corporate tax exemption under specific conditions. However, Gibraltar has left no room for doubt in the way it regulates crypto assets and activities. The region today has specific legislation pertaining to distributed ledger technology (DLT) and initial coin offers (ICOs). This has been key in allowing potential investors a clear view of what they are getting involved with.

With the world regulating cryptocurrencies very differently, the fact Gibraltar is showing an established route is highly valued, and it gives blockchain and crypto gaming companies the staying power they need to reach their full potential by incorporating their HQs in a legislation that clearly favours such technology.

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