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Gibraltar updates its regulations governing DLT firms

The Gibraltar Financial Servic3es Commission issued new guidance for DLT firms.

The Port of Gibraltar, Image by: Wikipedia Commons

Mon, 21 Sep 2020, 16:01 pm UTC

Gibraltar has updated its regulations on firms engaged in distributed ledger technology (DLT) business, which includes those offering blockchain-based services. The revision was done to include the latest FinanciaVl Action Task Force (FATF) rules, according to Cointelegraph.

The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has announced a few updates on its regulations on distributed ledger providers last week. According to the regulator, the move was in response to the fast-moving blockchain industry as it seeks to promote consumer protection while asking support from the players in the niche.

“The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has today published updated Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Provider Guidance Notes to further assist firms and protect consumers,” the GFSC said in a press release published on Thursday, September 17.

GFSC explained that the new guidelines incorporated issues tackled in the Financial Services Act 2019 and will replace the old guidelines issued in 2017. “In alignment with the Financial Services Act 2019 and adhering to best practices, the updated Guidance Notes provide further information to firms and expands our existing expectations of DLT providers,” the government regulator wrote. “The revised guidance notes replace the initial Guidance Notes published in December 2017.”

The latest FATF recommendations on virtual asset service providers (VASP) and the “Travel Rule” were incorporated into the updated guidance. The GFSC also recommended that virtual assets must be considered “as ‘property,’ ‘proceeds,’ ‘funds,’ ‘funds or other assets,’ or other ‘corresponding value.’”

In the newly issued guidance, VASPs are now required to collect customer information and maintain “robust and accurate records of transactions.” Firms in the niche must also update data on potential investors and customers.

“The release of the updated Guidance Notes is another important step forward in the development of the DLT Providers Regulatory framework that has proved so successful to date,” said Gibraltar Minister for Digital and Financial Services Albert Isola. “It is also a significant milestone in the evolution of our regulations as we embark on the road to achieve ongoing FATF compliance. My thanks go to all parties involved in delivery of these updates.”

Gibraltar is known for its regulatory advances and its openness toward the crypto industry. The number of DLT firms in the territory has ballooned to 13 companies, which include Bitso, Gnosis, eToro, LMAX, Huobi, and Xapo.

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