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Albert Isola, Gibraltar's commerce minister, talks about the value of Brexit and blockchain.

Q: Why and how is Gibraltar becoming an excellent destination for blockchain companies?

A: We have a vision of creating long-term and sustainable business relationships with major players in the blockchain sector. This will further diversify and generate revenue to support the continued growth in our economy, as well as afford us an unmissable opportunity to be a part of a revolutionary and exciting technology. Drawing on our experience in the e-gaming space, we believe we can offer regulatory certainty, consumer protection and a supportive environment for innovative businesses to establish themselves and grow. We welcome the opportunity to offer blockchain companies the security of our impeccable reputation as a jurisdiction and similarly consolidate this reputation with adaptive and supportive regulatory measures. In creating the Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] Regulatory Framework, which we launched in January 2018, we believe we cover all those bases. The creation of the framework came about after a significant period of consultation between the government, the regulator and thought leaders in the technology space who are equally seeking regulatory certainty for their firms. Thus, we are confident that our DLT legislation, which is only the first step in building a secure legislative framework, makes Gibraltar an attractive destination for any blockchain company seeking a fertile and supportive ecosystem for their business.

Q: Is blockchain a key part of Gibraltar’s foreign investment strategy? And, more generally, in what other sectors are you pushing for more foreign investment, inbound or outbound?

A: Gibraltar has a robust, resilient and diverse economy. Our ongoing challenge is to continue these traditions of economic excellence and encourage further expansion and diversity. Blockchain-related business provides an opportunity for us to extend our growth in an industry that is revolutionary and forward-looking, and effectively aligns with Gibraltar’s core values and practices.

The firms that form our e-gaming community are global leaders and we will continue to prioritise and support their presence in Gibraltar. Our successful tradition of supporting e-gaming markets will form the basis of our approach to blockchain investment as we demand the same exceptional standards from blockchain companies looking to establish themselves here. Applying similarly selective criteria, we are looking for quality players who will be exemplars in both innovation and management within the Gibraltar community, who will thrive under the umbrella of an effective regulatory environment. While we are ambitious and determined in our plans to expand the blockchain and digital assets sector further, we will not deviate from our highly selective processes to ensure Gibraltar remains home to only the best companies.

Q: What type of Brexit are you hoping for and what preparations are you making for a hard’ exit?

A: Brexit has presented us with a number of challenges and opportunities, and in these uncertain times, we hope for the best and plan for the worst. Having secured continued financial services passporting into the UK post-Brexit we have safeguarded More than 90% of our existing business. Some 96% of Gibraltarians voted to remain within the EU but we fully accept the democratic decision of all the British people. We have worked tirelessly with the rest of the UK to make the best of the arrangements for our exit and will continue to do so to safeguard existing and future business.

Q: What opportunities does Brexit present to Gibraltar?

A: We will work with the rest of the UK to make a success of Brexit. We have also been working closely with our business community to examine ways in which our niche markets can be strengthened and expanded in the context of Brexit. We are absolutely confident that although challenges may lie ahead we will be able to maintain and even grow our economy. Our events in London during Gibraltar week highlighted and celebrated the very strong links enjoyed between our private sector and the City of London, illustrating ample opportunity for future development and collaboration. We are confident that Brexit, in any form, will facilitate a new and exciting future to the mutual benefit of the UK, Gibraltar and our respective industries.

This article is sourced from fDi Magazine
fDi Magazine

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