ISOLAS partner and thought leader on regulatory issues around digital assets, Joey Garcia, was invited to speak at a conference at the world-leading Wharton Business School. The conference, hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, focused on the evolution of digital assets, specifically covering international regulatory developments, stablecoins and decentralised payment systems as well as wider concepts relating to decentralised finance initiatives . The conference brought together a group of internationally recognised regulators, academics, and lawyers.
In another vote of confidence for ISOLAS’s DLT expertise, Joey Garcia was joined by another ISOLAS partner Jonathan Garcia in contributing to a paper from leading blockchain think tank, ‘thinkBLOCKtank’, on ‘The Regulation of Tokens in Europe’.
Joey and Jonathan, founder members of the think tank, wrote a section in the paper on the regulatory framework of Gibraltar that sits alongside other such articles on other EU jurisdictions written by experts in those markets.
Joey and Jonathan’s chapter examines the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission’s (GFSC) approach to regulation in the jurisdiction, designed to be able to continually change and adapt to such a fast-evolving industry.
The piece sets out key details in the framework, examining the consumer protection and consumer focus which has been arguably missing in the unregulated space, while also looking at some of the factors that have led to Gibraltar being a leader in the DLT space.
‘thinkBLOCKtank’ is a Luxembourg based non-profit organisation, bringing together some of the most respected Blockchain and DLT experts from more than 15 countries, including the team from ISOLAS.
The main goal of the association is to provide policy recommendations at an EU and worldwide level. The think-tank is working to secure clear regulatory responses, taking into the account the enduring imperatives of protecting consumers and maintaining financial stability, while also ensuring that innovation in this space is not stifled by over-regulation and legal complexity.
Joey Garcia, Partner at ISOLAS and head of the FinTech offering, said:
“Following all our work in this space, advising the likes of LMAX Digital and Huobi, Bitso, Coinfloor and Lendingblock receiving their DLT licenses, it’s been a great opportunity to contribute to the global conversation on the regulation of DLT.
“From speaking at one of the best business schools in the world, Wharton, to contributing to this paper, is a real chance to share thoughts on our approach in Gibraltar. Particularly as the regulation of Virtual Asset Service Providers has become a major global initiative following the recent FATF (Financial Action Task Force) Recommendations and to learn from others on their approach to developing key questions and focus points and ultimately move the industry forward.”
Jonathan Garcia, Partner at ISOLAS, added:
“Together with contributions from other jurisdictions, we hope to inform the creation of a robust regulatory framework that also has the level of flexibility needed for the ever-changing industry.
“The paper also gives us a platform to highlight the benefits of doing business in Gibraltar. For example, our size allows us to remain agile and adapt to developments in regulation.”
Since the introduction of DLT licences in Gibraltar on 1 January 2018, ISOLAS has worked on the majority of applications. Recent work has included supporting Huobi on of the largest exchanges in the world, in achieving their license in Gibraltar as well as LMAX Digital, Bitso, the largest exchange in Latin Americaand Coinfloor. ISOLAS also advised RSK on its protocol layer developments, the prediction market platform Gnosis, Xapo on its e-money licence and the Gibraltar Stock Exchange GSX on its development into the space through GBX.
The full report, including Jonathan and Joey’s chapter, can be read here.