In 2018 Gibraltar created a regulatory framework to regulate the activity of companies that used blockchain technology to store or transmit values. Or, what is the same, companies that worked with tokens such as cryptocurrencies or NFTs. With that movement, the Government of the Rock wanted to ride the wave of new financial trends to attract money to its territory, a decision that now, almost four years later, may lead them to become the first territory with a stock exchange that accepts cryptocurrencies.
And it is that one of the cryptocurrency companies that was established in the Rock attracted by this regulation favorable to its activity, Valereum, has recently made an offer to buy 80% of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, with private capital, with the declared intention of including in it the sale of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, according explains the company in a note. However, to do so, it will have to have the authorization of the Gibraltarian government, which has not yet ruled on the matter.
The movement is as pioneering as it is risky. To date, no regulated stock exchange, in which company shares or bonds are exchanged, among other assets, has included cryptocurrencies among the investment instruments that can be bought and sold on them. Among other things because the financial authorities of the different countries, such as the Bank of Spain or the Bank of England, yet They view the rapid development of crypto assets with great skepticism, are concerned about the risks that they may entail and they would reject any proposition in this regard.
The financial authorities consider that cryptocurrencies are very volatile values, they do not have protection mechanisms for consumers and investors and can be used for illicit activities such as money laundering or financing of terrorist groups. What, if it occurs on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange, could sink its reputation and lead to international sanctions from other countries or supranational organizations.
The Gibraltarian authorities are silent
The Government of the Rock has not yet officially ruled on this movement of Valereum nor about his intention to turn the Gibraltar Stock Exchange into a regulated cryptocurrency market. In fact, the purchase has not yet been closed as the British Overseas Territory Administration continues to review the documentation necessary to approve the transaction.
Despite this silence about this particular operation, the representatives of the Government of Gibraltar have been very much in favor of everything that has to do with cryptocurrencies since 2018. In fact, asked in this regard by The Guardian, Albert Isola, Minister of Digital, Financial and Public Services of the Rock, boasted that its regulatory system was a guarantee of good practice.
Now the ball is in your court. If they accept Valereum’s proposal, they will strengthen their commitment to attract capital linked to blockchain and cryptocurrencies, but they will have to spin fine to fit this novelty into their regulations and offer security to investors and regulatory authorities of other countries.
Xataka has asked the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, the regulatory authority for financial services on the Rock, about the possibility of cryptocurrencies entering its Stock Market, but we have not received an answer.