Gibraltar Aims To Be World’s First Cryptocurrency Hub

January 23, 2022 2:32 pm

The Gibraltar Stock Exchange is in the process of possibly being bought and taken over by blockchain and crypto firm Valereum.

This means that this small territory in the world might soon host the first crypto hub where cryptocurrencies are traded alongside conventional bonds.

This possibility is both frightening and exciting because it can either end up a disaster for the country or the greatest thing that ever happened to the nation.

This is because success means that it could become a global cryptocurrency hub.

However, there is a chance that country fails to set the proper regulations that prevent the hub from being a place for money laundering, sanction evasions, and terrorist financing.

If such a scenario comes true, then the country could face reputational damage diplomatic sanctions from other countries that could threaten its economy.

TheGuardian.com explains:

It will be a major task to overhaul an exchange that is currently staffed by only three employees, and will require a change in Gibraltar’s regulations to govern how crypto is going to be traded on the GSX. But Poulden says his firm is leaning on technology, rather than people, to weed out any bad actors.

He says running anti-money laundering checks on cryptocurrencies is “not vastly different from running it on currency from any any other source. And indeed, in some cases, because you can trace back through the blockchain and see exactly where that money has come from, it can actually be substantially easier than trying to find where a block of funds in a bank has come from.”

Other countries will be watching closely. Neil Williams, London-baseddeputy head of complex crime at Reeds Solicitors, ssays: “If it’s a success, you’d certainly think that other jurisdictions would look to follow, because it’s an ever increasing valuable commodity.”

However, experts have warned that Gibraltar could face sanctions by countries such as the US if its regulators end up giving legal approval to crypto firms that – even inadvertently – give a pass to money launderers, black market criminals or kleptocrats who prefer the anonymity of crypto assets.

It comes amid concern at major global financial regulators, including the Bank of England, over the rapid development of crypto assets and the potential consequences for consumer and investor protection, market integrity, money laundering and the financing of terror groups.

Regulators worldwide are keeping a close eye on what unfolds on this tiny nation as most of them are very skeptical that there would be an actual country in the world that would allow a crypto firm to buy their stock exchange.

Gibraltar officials argue back that what it is doing isn’t any different from what other countries are doing.

It was regularly consulted for proper regulation when it welcomes crypto firms in the past.

Additionally, the country’s officials stated that you can technically go to any other country and run the same type of business without being supervised and being regulated.

In contrast, because Gibraltar is taking imitative to set the proper regulations, the country is arguing that Gibraltar is actually the safest because the firms are all licensed and regulated.

Tom Keatinge, director of RUSI’s Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, commented that this skepticism from others is pretty typical as the industry has a negative reputation for safety and Gibraltar is a small jurisdiction.

Only time will tell how this will all unfold as the next few upcoming years are certain to be exciting and full of changes.

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.