The 6.8km2 territory of Gibraltar is home to 35,000 people as well as several large crypto companies. The British Overseas Territory (Gibraltar) is a jurisdiction that offers attractive opportunities for distributed ledger technology (DLT), or just crypto. It is governed by the United Kingdom.
Binance, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, has increased its hiring of four positions in the “Rock of Gibraltar” from just two weeks ago. CZ, the CEO of Binance met with Fabian Picardo, Chief Minister of Gibraltar in December 2021, after it was discovered that Picardo had Binance on his laptop.
Tweet from the Head of State. What do you see? https://t.co/VKVzd8972T
CZ Binance (@cz_binance), December 1, 2021
According to reports, CZ visited “The Rock” in 2022. Since then, Binance Gibraltar job opportunities have appeared on the exchange’s site. Cointelegraph reached out to Binance in order to find out when the Gibraltar office will open. Binance has no international headquarters and a spokesperson for the company told Cointelegraph that it is a remote-first group with many employees who work remotely.
“Binance will establish multiple regional offices.” Our offices in Europe and the Middle East will be located in France and Dubai.
The group didn’t respond to the question about whether it would establish a physical presence at Gibraltar. Binance would however be in good company in an increasingly pro-crypto British Overseas Territory.
Bitso and Huobi started their European operations in Gibraltar. Damex also has a physical presence there and numerous advertising boards throughout the city. Tap.Global also has offices along the main street. The government is definitely crypto-friendly. Albert Isola (Member of Parliament for Digital and Financial Services) told Cointelegraph that he is a HODLer.
Wait…how much $BTC does Minister of Digital and Financial Services of Gibraltar have? @JoeNakamoto met with us to discuss cryptocurrency adoption, regulation, as well as our views on Bitcoin in Gibraltar. pic.twitter.com/NKxdeNKbvn
— Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph), August 2, 2022
Joey Garcia, Head of Public Affairs at Bitcoin-first Xapo Bank in Gibraltar, said to Cointelegraph that Gibraltar was “nimble” as a territory for adopting new technologies.
“Small jurisdictions are able to move faster. It’s something we’ve seen repeatedly in Gibraltar, whether it be crowdfunding or new areas for development. Xapo was one of the first to get an e-money licence in Gibraltar.
Wences Casares, CEO of Xapo Bank, is known as “patient zero” in the Bitcoin (BTC), world. According to reports, the Argentian businessman advocated for Bitcoin among Silicon Valley tech executives. Quartz reported that Casares tried to orange-pill Bill Gates. Bloomberg reported that Xapo had over $10 billion worth of Bitcoin in its vaults.
The Xapo Branch is located at 1 Grand Casemates Square.
Grand Casemates Square is Gibraltar’s tourist hot spot. The Xapo vaults can now be found in Grand Casemates Square. Millions of cruise ship day-trippers walk past the historical walls that make up Xapo’s walls. Anouska Streets explained to Cointelegraph that there is a tension between the old bank work and the new crypto landscape. She also commented on Gibraltar’s status as a jurisdiction.
“As a jurisdiction it’s amazing – the regulators openly and helpfully in terms of how to build – not only Bitcoin, but other crypto capabilities. It has been for many years.
Minister Isola added his voice to the discussion on regulation. Minister Isola stated that regulation must be an enabler for businesses, not a stifler. I believe that pragmatic and practical regulation is beneficial for the business.
Businesses have been using Bitcoin since then. Major retailers, including Costa Coffee, now accept Bitcoin in Gibraltar. Cointelegraph spoke to Neil Walker, Sandpiper GI’s managing director. He said that Bitcoin and the lightning network could make things more frictionless.
“In today’s world, people should have the ability to move quickly between currencies with almost no fees. The lightning network could allow that. This is whether it’s possible for cross-border workers in Gibraltar, or visitors coming to Gibraltar to make their money. You can also find it in our stores.
Obi Nwosu is CEO of Fedi, and a member of the board of BTrust-the initiative started by Jay Z-commented Gibraltar. Obi has always been a fast-mover.
“I don’t think it is surprising that people on the ground test Bitcoin. That merchants on ground are more interested accepting Bitcoin.”
Molly Spiers is the marketing head at CoinCorner. She explained that Bitcoin adoption in British Overseas Territories has been booming. “Gibraltar has caught up to the Isle of Man. There are 7 Gibraltar stores that accept Bitcoin at the moment, including major names such as Costa Coffee, Hotel Chocolat, and Card Factory. We have another 20 potential customers.
Related: Huobi is approved as an exchange provider in Australia
When Minister Isola was asked if Gibraltar should follow the Isle of Man’s example with Bitcoin adoption, Isola replied: “I have always believed that if someone has a section in their legislation that’s better than ours, I would not hesitate to adopt it.” We’re always looking for the most innovative, enabling and effective regulatory framework we can find.
The result is that crypto operators can meet, network, and rub shoulders on the small patch of land with regulators, and the territory is quick respond to market movements.
Eileen Wilson –Technology and Energy
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