Gibraltar’s Fintech Sector Moves Forward – Awards Xapo E-money license

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HM Government of Gibraltar welcomed a recent announcement by Xapo of the grant of its E-money license by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) and of the commencement of its business from Gibraltar.

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The Gibraltar Government’s proposed framework for the regulation of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) has attracted much international attention and the attraction of Xapo, a premium global fintech business to Gibraltar augurs well for their continued development in this space.

Xapo, said to be the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world, combines the convenience of an everyday bitcoin wallet with the security of a deep cold storage vault and they have raised $40 million from Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Fortress Investment Group, Ribbit Capital and Emergence Capital Partners.

Albert Isola, Minister for Commerce commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Xapo to Gibraltar with their professional and highly experienced team to our jurisdiction. Xapo have shared their expertise with us and the GFSC in the development of our DLT regime from its inception two years ago, and I am confident that they will continue to contribute to the development of Gibraltar as a centre of excellence in this exciting sector.’

Wences Casares, CEO of the Xapo group and a recognised international expert in this field also commented:

“We are delighted to have received our license in Gibraltar. After an extensive jurisdictional analysis we chose to make Gibraltar our home in respect of the exciting opportunities that our e-money license brings the group, and we look forward to being part of Gibraltar’s continuing growth as an international financial centre and Fintech hub. Looking back at Xapo as a Palo Alto startup in 2013 we have come a long way and are excited about the future. Xapo’s vision is one of free, instant and global value transfer and the development of inclusive financial services. I would also like to thank Joey Garcia and the team at ISOLAS and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission for their pro-active engagement and support in our application process”.

The Government of Gibraltar continues to believe that its proposed DLT regulatory framework will provide an environment for quality and premium firms to operate from Gibraltar as it leads the way in balancing the needs of this innovative sector with the interests of consumers and the good reputation of their jurisdiction.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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