Numerous attracting blockchain and crypto startup businesses have started to appear as one way of bolstering Gibraltar’s expanding financial services sector after the self-governing country left the European Union in 2020.
The territory has taken an outsized role in the crypto community, partnering with numerous blockchain and crypto startups to launch various platforms, including the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange, the British protectorate’s first digital asset exchange and token sale platform.
If you’re invested in crypto, here is a list of five companies based in Gibraltar you need to get to know.
NKOR is a firm based in the British protectorate that’s created a blockchain platform for IP rights management. Intellectual property data can be uploaded to the NKOR website, where they are securely encrypted and recorded in the network.
The startup was first announced in mid-2017 and is led by CEO Eric Klein. By changing the way people record and get compensated for their intellectual property, the platform aims to create a growing ecosystem of people that are securely tracking their inventions on the blockchain.
Initially founded in Singapore, TraceTo is now one of the most famous companies in Gibraltar because it was the first startup to list its token and launch its corresponding token sale on the GBX, or Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange.
The platform describes itself as a ‘decentralized KYC (Know Your Customer) network that allows cryptocurrency organizations to include KYC best processes at each step of the customer experience. Crypto firms can store their customer information on smart contracts, which can then be viewed inside TraceTo’s software layer.
Transact Payments is a Gibraltar-based e-money platform offering services to enterprise businesses and consumers worldwide. It delivers a wide range of payment options for enterprise clients, such as a few cryptocurrency options. Within its payment platform, Transact Payments also offers crypto wallet services to help users secure their assets.
The company operates with full regulatory approval from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and is a qualified partner of Visa and MasterCard. Transact Payments has an extensive range of clients, including major financial institutions and small tech startup businesses.
Lendo is a fintech company that enables lenders to provide fiat loans for cryptocurrency collateral and a crypto banking ecosystem. After being founded in London, the firm has relocated to Gibraltar.
The platform enables anyone to loan out fiat to future crypto investors, or vice-versa. As an outcome of all lender and customer information being kept on the Lendo blockchain, load applications will be able to be processed almost instantly, even when investors are utilizing their crypto assets for collateral.
Dether is another company based in Gibraltar. This platform is a P2P network that makes it possible for anyone to buy and sells Ether (ETH) instantly. The Dether application and platform are ideal for crypto investors and purchasers looking to trade their fiat money for Etherm and vice-versa.
To appear as a seller or buyer on the Dether application, users can buy DTH tokens, which will have them on the ‘DTH Map,’ and qualify them to match with other users on the platform. Dether has also launched its public token sale, which raised almost 4K in ETH to fund platform development and enhanced hiring. The company has also received partial support from ConsenSys, the famous decentralized app developer.
The Bottom Line
Besides these Gibraltar-based companies, Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) has also been working to offer a tokenized securities exchange solution and launched the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX) platform. This exchange is Gibraltar’s first digital asset exchange and token sale platform, having a native currency known as the Rock Token (RKT).
The exchange platform functions under the Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) regulations defined by Gibraltar’s government and is a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.
The surge in interest in Gibraltar after the DLT legislation (Distributed Ledger Technology) and the ICO regulations significantly impact the country’s funds industry. Because of this and many other things, Gibraltar is considered one of the go-to locations for anything involving cryptocurrency or blockchain technology.
Gibraltar is one of the very few jurisdictions in the world where it is feasible to open a bank account for such activities. This makes it a given for entrepreneurs who wish to establish funds for investing in cryptocurrencies to consider Gibraltar as a jurisdiction in which to house their funds.
Gibraltar and Cryptocurrency
When establishing crypto funds, there are a few challenges, not the least of which is the volatility of the cryptocurrencies themselves. Investors are prone to lose fortunes as they are to make them by investing in this market. There is a demand among investors to have exposure to this asset class to be placed among their asset allocation’s riskier end. Thus, the Gibraltar Funds and Investment Association (GFIA) has created a special crypto fund committee to address these issues.
The committee’s first decision was to encourage Gibraltar’s industry to use Experienced Investor Funds (EIFs) as the regulatory rule for crypto funds, which can cut some costs. GIFA is set to ensure that these practices are not carried out in the crypto funds sector, other than in the few restricted cases where the fund includes only the money of a person and that is of the promoter.
The industry agrees that investors in cryptocurrency should be allowed the regulatory infrastructure and the protections that the EIF’s regulations deliver, along with the support of numerous EIF directors, fund administrators, and auditors, many of whom are obviously absent in the creation of some private funds.
Crypto Funds and the Code of Conduct
The crypto committee has also been figuring out an extension of the GIFA Code of Conduct to include aspects that should be considered by those involved in the sector when they are creating crypto funds. Among other issues, the code will manage custody of crypto assets, valuation, security, and corporate governance.
Although it may be probable that some funds drop in value because of the fluctuations of cryptocurrencies, GIDA wants to make sure that investors in Gibraltar crypto funds will be protected from cyber-security threats and danger associated with sub-effective corporate dominance.
Even though most of the morals that relate to the protection of investors in crypto funds can be drawn from the Code of Conduct, new regulations are set to help practitioners apply these principles to crypto assets. One instance is the provision that cryptocurrencies should be stored in digital wallets with multi-signatory functions.
Comply or Explain
According to GFIA, some of these principles should be included in crypto fund regulations as well. As it is with numerous other codes like this, the principle with the Code of Conduct is to ‘comply or explain.’
Simply put, the code recognizes that there may be situations in which the regulations that it sets out cannot be applied to an individual situation, and so, in that particular circumstance, an explanation should be delivered as to why the principles of the code have not been respected and followed.
The interest in Gibraltar funds has been initiated in other regions as well: traditional securities funds and algorithm funds are also being created. The funds industry is said to take advantage of this increasing interest, more so since funds professionals usually have the best abilities to make the ICO and DLT work. In short, the government of Gibraltar should be congratulated for delivering the regulatory infrastructure for this critical sector as per many in the cryptocurrency community.