Several known crypto companies have been granted licenses to operate from Gibraltar since the British overseas territory adopted business-friendly regulations for the nascent industry. According to Gibraltar’s trade minister, Albert Isola, the government is now focused on creating a “supportive environment” for the sector.
Supportive Environment for the Crypto Industry
The Digital Ledger Technology (DLT) Regulatory Framework went into effect in January 2018, a month after it was approved by the Legislature of Gibraltar. The regulations are designed to attract companies from the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry while ensuring proper protection for customers’ interests and maintaining Gibraltar’s own reputation, according to the authors of the dedicated legislation.
“Our financial regulator, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), began awarding DLT licenses to a number of leading blockchain firms operating here in October,” the Minister for Commerce of Gibraltar Albert Isola told news.Bitcon.com. The list of licensed companies includes Huobi, the fourth largest exchange by daily trading volume, Coinfloor, the oldest crypto trading platform in the U.K., Covesting, which is another crypto exchange based in Europe, the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), operated by the local stock exchange, and the most recently licensed entity, digital asset platform Etorox.
Isola, who is also a member of the British parliament, emphasized that the regulatory framework implemented in Gibraltar is designed to remain flexible to the fast-moving developments of the wider crypto ecosystem and will allow authorities to react swiftly to the growth of the sector in the coming years. The official added that while introducing sensible legislation has been the main priority, the government has been also working to create a supportive and business-friendly environment for blockchain companies that want to operate there or have already established a presence in the territory.
The trade minister shared that Gibraltar has recently established a trade association for the industry, the Gibraltar Association for New Technologies (GANT). The organization facilitates the development of formal relationships between the authorities and the crypto companies. The government has also created a working group called New Technologies in Education (NTiE). The project, a joint initiative between the executive power, the private sector, and the University of Gibraltar, aims to address the growing demand for related skills. The plan is to organize educational courses that will prepare employees and specialists for the industry.
Gibraltar and the Competition
Gibraltar is one of several jurisdictions in Europe that have taken steps to become crypto-friendly territories. These include Switzerland, Malta, Estonia, and the Isle of Man. Switzerland, which is home to the Crypto Valley in Zug, has attracted hundreds of crypto startups. The Swiss government recently announced a comprehensive strategy that recognizes distributed ledger technologies as an important development for the financial sector and aims to build a legal foundation for their implementation. Last year, Malta adopted a welcoming regulatory framework for crypto businesses, and Estonia has licensed over 900 exchanges and wallet service providers in less than a year since it introduced a licensing regime for crypto companies.
Albert Isola believes, however, that Gibraltar remains the destination of choice for quality fintech companies because of its “reputation for being a business-friendly jurisdiction, for promoting blockchain education and for strong public-private sector collaboration.” The government representative noted that the local authorities are focused on creating legislation that will provide strong oversight and consumer protection without stifling the innovation which is required for the industry to flourish. He also added:
We want to create a vibrant DLT community in Gibraltar by developing strong, collaborative relationships with the private sector operators who have based themselves here.
Gibraltar has long been a hub for businesses providing financial services and companies operating online gaming platforms. These two sectors provide a sizable portion of its domestic product and budget receipts. The Gibraltar government has been quick to realize the potential benefits of building a crypto-friendly environment and expects that its regulatory framework will attract more crypto companies in the future.
What are your expectations about the future of the crypto industry in Gibraltar? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.
Security token trading platform DX.Exchange says it has patched a security vulnerability that allowed anyone to access user authentication tokens.
DX.Exchange, which went live on Monday, offers crypto tokens representing shares in a number of Nasdaq-traded firms. The company uses Nasdaq’s matching engine and financial information exchange protocol to facilitate the trading of these digital securities.
However, in its first few days, the platform revealed sensitive data, including password reset links, as reported by Ars Technica. It is unclear how many user accounts were at compromised, though an anonymous trader told the news site that he collected “about 100 … tokens over 30 minutes.”
Ars further reported that it was able to collect “a large number” of authentication tokens.
In a statement, the DX.Exchange attributed the bug to “an authentication token error,” but said the issue was resolved before any damage could occur.
Daniel Skowronski, the exchange’s CEO, said in a statement that user funds were not at risk, explaining:
“We are happy to report that the vulnerability has been successfully patched, and no user funds were compromised … Customer funds were always safe, our multi layer advanced monitoring and defense mechanism was able to avoid any further issue.”
The statement went on to note that any developers who discover bugs in the future can report them to the exchange directly through a bug bounty program.
Trading graph image via Shutterstock
Upcoming forks in Ethereum and Ethereum Classic have given opportunity to scammers. Two alleged “hard fork” versions are trying to steal money from users of both. Ethereum Nowa claims to be forking away from ETH. Ethereum Classic Vision claims to fork away from ETC. These forks are allegedly in response to regularly scheduled network upgrades in both blockchains.
Accordingly, the team at Guarda, which offers a web-based solution similar to Coinomi, wrote to CCN to report that both of these forks are scams. The official web wallets both Ethereum Nowa and Ethereum Classic Vision have provided are scams. They attempt to capture private keys. Unsuspecting users may have already lost money using this method.
Firefox and MetaMask have caught on to the scams. Ethnowallet was identified by Firefox as a “deceptive site.”
Thankfully, this reporter’s MetaMask extension caught Ethereum Classic Vision.
Capturing Private Keys
MyEtherWallet.com is a popular web-based crypto wallet solution. It only requires a web browser. The user does not have to be online. It does not share private key or transaction information with the MyEtherWallet.com servers. MyMonero.com and Coinb.in work similarly.
Guarda investigated the alleged prospective ETH forks. Users are promised that they will be able to fork their coins and get money on the alleged new chains. Importantly, Guarda discovered that both of these alleged crypto projects were capturing private keys and transferring the data back to their servers. This is a no-go for any wallet implementation that doesn’t expressly tell you that it’s storing your coins for you.
There are other ways to fork coins. Importantly, we don’t have any reason to believe these chains will exist. But given their track record already of trying to capture people’s ETH and ETC private keys, it’s unlikely that any legitimate forks will result.
As the report from Guarda states:
When accessing the Ethereum Nowa website, the users can click on the “Wallet” button – this will redirect you to the page of Ethereum Nowa wallet creation/importing your old wallet. This is exactly where the trap lies.
Ethereum Classic Vision looked more solid at the first glace, but the analysis on the code performed by our team has shown that the piece of code provided actually sends your private key data on the Ethereum Classic Vision servers, masking it as an API token.
Read the full report, which contains technical details of the ECV attack, below.
Ethereum Scammers Trying to… by on Scribd
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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