Gibraltar, a small British overseas territory located on the southern coast of Spain, has been making waves in the blockchain industry. Historically, its economy has relied heavily on tourism, financial services, and shipping, leaving it vulnerable to industry fluctuations. However, in recent years, the government of Gibraltar has pushed for the adoption of blockchain technology to drive economic growth.
Through this blog post, we will explore how this U.K. army-cum-naval base is leveraging the latest technological innovation to secure a better global financial position.
What is blockchain technology?
Before we go any further, let’s define what blockchain technology is. In simple terms, it’s a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions and data across multiple computers. Once a block (or node) is added to the blockchain, it cannot be altered or deleted, making it a tamper-proof system.
Why is Gibraltar the top destination for blockchain players?
Here’s a run-down of some key reasons why Gibraltar has become a go-to hub for players in the blockchain space.
1. Better regulation = Increased investor confidence
In 2018, Gibraltar introduced a regulatory framework for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) businesses, including blockchain companies. Knowing that they are operating in a monitored environment gives these enterprises the confidence to invest and grow. The framework also protects consumers by ensuring that transactions adhere to specific standards.
2. Enhanced security and transparency through the GBX
The Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange or GBX is a fully regulated crypto exchange based in the territory that facilitates the trading of digital assets. By providing a safe platform for traders, GBX has attracted investors worldwide, bringing much-needed funds and capital to Gibraltar’s economy.
3. Strategic location
It’s strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa.
4. Highly skilled workforce
Gibraltar has a highly skilled workforce with expertise in blockchain technology. The government has partnered with universities and educational institutions to provide further training and education on blockchain-related courses.
5. Supportive infrastructure
The territory has also invested in blockchain infrastructure, such as establishing a government-supported business accelerator called “Startup Grind Gibraltar.” This structured global community supports blockchain startups by providing them with office space, mentorship, and access to funding.
6. Tax incentives for blockchain investors
Besides its friendly regulations towards DLT companies, Gibraltar also offers attractive incentives, such as low taxes and business-friendly policies. These make it attractive for businesses looking to expand their operations into Europe or other parts of the world.
Gibraltar also boasts high-speed internet access, ideal for digital service providers like cryptocurrency exchanges or other DLT-related companies.
7. Innovation-driven culture
Another advantage that Gibraltar has over other blockchain locations is its dedication to innovation and progressiveness. This can be seen in the implementation of new technologies in everyday life. Its citizens not only have access to digital payment platforms but can also develop applications using smart contracts running on Ethereum-based blockchains—something totally unimaginable until recently!
How Gibraltar utilizes blockchain technology to boost the economy
1. Significant investments from blockchain companies
By implementing a regulatory framework, Gibraltar has allowed blockchain companies to obtain a license for operating within its jurisdiction. As a result, Gibraltar has become enticing to numerous blockchain companies, creating job opportunities for its citizens.
2. Digital identity verification
Gibraltar uses blockchain security tools to streamline and simplify the process of identity verification, which is essential for many financial services. Thus, this cutting-edge technology, can reduce fraud and increase the efficiency of financial transactions. This can pave the way to a more secure and reliable monetary system.
3. Land registry
The territory also leverages blockchain platforms to digitize its land registry, a crucial component of its real estate industry. By creating a digital record of land ownership, Gibraltar can reduce the time and cost associated with land-related transactions. This makes it more attractive for investors to participate in Gibraltar’s property market.
4. International payment processing
Another way that Gibraltar is taking full advantage of blockchain innovations is by streamlining international payment procedures. This makes it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to conduct cross-border transactions.
5. Digital asset custody
A robust and reliable platform for storing digital assets is essential for many blockchain-based companies. By providing secure custody services through blockchain technology, Gibraltar can pull more tech companies to its shores, boosting its economy.
6. E-residency program
Gibraltar will eventually be launching an e-residency program. This will allow digital entrepreneurs and business owners to establish their online presence within the territory’s legal boundaries. Consequently, this will lead to new opportunities for growth.
7. Blockchain education
Gibraltar recognizes that technology is vital to its future economic growth. By training its citizens in the latest blockchain developments, it can build an even more proficient workforce capable of driving its economy forward in the years to come.
The bottom line
Indeed, Gibraltar has poured considerable resources into leveraging blockchain technology to stimulate economic progress. These initiatives are expected to pay off soon as more companies move their operations into their jurisdiction. Then, many Gibraltarians can find more jobs, spend more on goods and services, and enjoy greater access to digital payments. Of course, the economy will definitely benefit from higher tax revenues and more significant investments in research and development related to distributed ledger technology (DLT).
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Salman Zafar is an acclaimed blogger, editor, publisher and digital marketer. He is the founder of Blogging Hub, a digital publishing portal with wide following across the world.