Isle of Man Makes Plans to Establish International Hub for Blockchain Industry

February 23, 2019

Isle of Man has created a Blockchain Office and launched an Isle of Man Sandbox, as a way of making new commitments for the jurisdiction to become an international hub for blockchain businesses.

The Blockchain Office was created to be a special hub dedicated to improving the growth of the blockchain sector by fostering dialogue between businesses and regulators and to aid blockchain platforms in their design while future-proofing their concepts according to relevant laws and regulations. The office is also expected to provide expertise, marketing support, and guidance, as well as accelerate and encourage collaboration between companies.

It is hoped that through the Blockchain Office, businesses will find it easier when applying to participate in the Isle of Man Blockchain Sandbox. Applications for the Sandbox will begin in March 2019, and the office will be fully functional by spring. Early participants will pay no charges for the facility and would also enjoy access to an environment where they can nurture and experiment with blockchain platforms.

The Sandbox will gain from experiences accumulated from future participation in many other international forums and sandboxes that allow cross-border testing. A robust selection process has been put in place to ensure that all participants are of the best quality, as the Island aims to build a ‘centre of excellence’ ecosystem.

Lyle Wraxall, CEO of Digital Isle of Man, an executive agency of the government’s Department for Enterprise, said

With the launch of the Blockchain Office and Sandbox, the Isle of Man is making a strong commitment to be a fully supportive jurisdiction for the blockchain industry.

She also stated that the company is hoping to attract premium blockchain businesses and the world’s top exchanges to the Island, and will be making new “tech-agnostic regulation” inspired by best practice gleaned from other prominent jurisdictions around the world.

The blockchain and iGaming sectors are working together on a piece of legislation in Isle of Man that permits virtual currencies to be deposited, withdrawn and gambled with licensed operators. The Island boasts of being the home to the first blockchain-enabled lottery platform powered by Ethereum.

Daphne Caine MHK, Political Member for Digital Isle of Man, said that the Isle of Man was part and parcel of the foremost jurisdictions in the world to start a legislative framework for virtual currencies. It was also mentioned to be the home to leading exchanges since 2013, and is generally accepted as the headquarters of several blockchain businesses, including CoinCorner, Quanta, Luckbox and Qadre.

She added that the creation of the Blockchain Office strengthens the Isle of Man’s commitment to keeping up with their reputation as the leading edge of innovation and emerging technologies and responding rapidly to new business models.

Caine said: 

It is encouraging to see that the sector is supported by a community of legal, accountancy and fiduciary firms, service providers and advisors, and the Island’s long-established financial services and e-Gaming sectors act as a strong foundation for the industry.

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