The Isle of Man does not have a central bank and that is well received by bitcoin believers, of course!
On 10 June 2014, the Isle of Man financial services regulator explained that the policy was to support legitimate businesses within the emerging crypto sector to operate in the jurisdiction without regulation, to support best practice and that a public register would be introduced in new legislation.
On 18 July 2014, the Isle of Man financial services regulator announced guidance notes.
The Crypto Valley Summit prompted extensive discussions and — perhaps not widely enough — I recommended a voluntary public register without a fee pending the compulsory public register with a fee in the new legislation.
The new legislation (explanatory notes) is expected in H1 2015 but will not regulate crypto businesses. As at 15 December 2014 it has passed the first and second reading in the lower chamber so still requires a third reading in the lower chamber, first, second and third readings in the upper chamber and also (UK) Royal Assent in the joint chamber so it is on the right timescale.
The UK is often cited as the most important onshore jurisdiction to crypto businesses. I discussed with peer contacts and noted that even the world class UK Government Digital Service has limited public API functionality.
Most regulators and governments struggle to minimise consequential costs but increasingly real time risk management of any business on a public register is a core requirement.
I reviewed the existing Isle of Man public register of regulated banking licence holders and decided to configure a no/low cost public API with import.io as a proof of concept that even an unregulated crypto business would want to be on a voluntary public register that could be monitored with innovative automated services such as alerts (public register ping, highlight a shift to a different jurisdiction) to investors, digital wallet holders, digital currency exchanges, insurance companies, media companies, other regulators and cross-border law enforcement such as Europol and Interpol.
So, what could you do in 2 hours?
- host a group coffee with some local peer contacts to shortlist crypto businesses already active in the local tech community and the inevitable 1 or 2 handfuls of stealth mode tech startups that may or may not want to be included yet (20 minutes)
- draft a voluntary public register and any amendments (30 minutes)
- circulate to highlight any gaps (10 minutes)
- upload the summary, content and link to a holding page on the regulator website (30 minutes)
- draft tweet (10 minutes)
- apologise for making it look easy with import.io (20 minutes)
project lead, openmindedly