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Those seeking to issue their own tokens face many arduous challenges. From jurisdictional warnings to outright bans, the global climate for token sales could be described as ‘stormy’ at best. There are also perceptions of illegitimacy, money laundering, scams, and fraud to address. Every week more governments and regulators restrict access to this new avenue for raising capital. Investors and institutions alike are wary of this wild space, waiting for the storm to settle. Where can eager would-be issuers and buyers go for refuge from that storm?

The answer is the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange, the ‘Crypto Harbour’. In Gibraltar, a country known for its forward-looking approach, the GBX is building a solution that could provide corporate governance and transparency for token sales.

Gibraltar has a history of leading the way in fostering new industries. When e-gaming was in its infancy it faced many similar challenges that the crypto world does today. Despite this, Gibraltar saw the potential of the e-gaming industry, developed supportive regulation, and welcomed only a few of the most reputable companies. Gibraltar’s approach worked. The perception of e-gaming normalised and the industry began to flourish. To date not one of the 30+ Gibraltar-based gaming companies have failed and they hold the lion’s share of the market. When you compare this to other jurisdictions there is an obvious difference. Gibraltar chose quality over quantity. Careful market oversight not only brought jobs and growth to the Rock but protected the jurisdiction’s reputation and integrity.

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Now, some 25 years later, Gibraltar finds itself in a familiar situation, only this time with blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. The Government of Gibraltar started examining how it could regulate this space back as early as 2015. The results of their hard work have been the creation of the Distributed Ledger Technology Regulatory Framework (DLTRF). This regulation, which comes into effect January 2018, will regulate companies and individuals which use DLT i.e. blockchain technologies to handle the ‘value’ (e.g. assets) of third parties. This is not a regulation of the technology itself, but a principles-based regulatory framework that enables the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) to bring conduct under the microscope.

So, where does the GBX fit in?

As a subsidiary of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX), an EU regulated exchange, recognised by HRMC, the GBX was established with the intention of becoming a leading token sale platform and cryptocurrency exchange. The GBX aims to provide institutional grade governance, due diligence, and process, drawing from the expertise and years of experience of its parent company, a traditional stock exchange. By setting high standards, the GBX will aim to only allow a gold standard of listings from the most reputable projects.

The GBX aims to lead the way in setting higher standards for token sales, including criteria for a professional whitepaper, and effective due diligence on the company controllers.

To help guide and set these standards, and drawing on a broader community consensus, the GBX will create the GBX Alliance. The GBX Alliance will consist of leading institutions, organisations, and representatives from a diverse range across the community. From the GBX Alliance, the GBX Alliance Council will be elected. The council will represent opinion from that diverse range of backgrounds across the community. It will work closely with the GBX to establish and review the guidelines and standards that govern token listing and trading. It will also perform an important role in establishing the rules for ‘Sponsor Firm’ admission.

In order to launch a token sale on the GBX an applicant must appoint a GBX Sponsor Firm. Sponsor Firms will be body corporates which have proven industry expertise. This will help uphold best practices and assurance of quality. A token sale applicant will have the added confidence in knowing that a Sponsor Firm has met the sponsor admission criteria set by the GBX and the Alliance Council.

Sponsor Firms will be responsible for rigorous due diligence, advice, and communication between the token sale applicant and the GBX throughout the entire listing process. Sponsor Firms must put theory into practice, embodying the best values and ethics, helping to establish that new industry standard.

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To fuel this eco-system the GBX will issue the Rock Token (RKT). Named after Gibraltar’s famous Rock, this token will be the medium of exchange for the GBX. It will also be accepted for all fees from including sponsor and listing fees. The Rock Token is intended to help the GBX create a liquid market; Rock Tokens will be a means of entry and trading.

All these combined elements, and more, set the foundations of the Crypto Harbour.

The GBX intends to change the world, and in setting a practical, standards-driven example, improve perception of cryptocurrencies.

If it succeeds, the GBX will help to calm the raging storms and help innovators and entrepreneurs set new sails from the Crypto Harbour, going on to new, welcoming, bright horizons.


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