In March, Bitcoin Magazine reported that the Isle of Man wants to become a leading Bitcoin hub. The government of the tiny island is pushing forward a new regulatory framework to create a true paradise for digital currencies.
Bitcoin Magazine spoke with Brian Donegan, Head of Operations for Digital Development and eBusiness at the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development. Donegan confirmed that the island, a self-governing British Crown dependency located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland, is gearing up to become the ideal environment for digital financial technology businesses, entrepreneurs and developers.
"The Isle of Man is investment-grade and has the perfect business environment to maximize value," said Donegan. "The Isle of Man has a superior technology proposition, excellent bandwidth, Tier 3 Data Centers and self-sufficient local electricity power supplies."
Donegan confirmed that, besides the advantages of political stability and a world-class computing and telecom infrastructure, the Isle of Man government intends to offer to digital fintech businesses a clear, rock-solid regulatory environment to foster good business models – and keep dubious ones out.
"We will keep crime out and protect the consumer," he said.
Two relevant pieces of legislation, the "Designated Businesses (Registration and Oversight) Bill 2014" and the "Proceeds of Crime (Business in the Regulated Sector) Order 2015," are advancing through the approval process and should enter in force in a few weeks.
A decade ago the Isle of Man government recognized e-gaming as a potential strategic growth sector, and established a suitable legal and fiscal framework to attract online gambling and sports betting businesses. As a result, leading operators such as PokerStars flocked to the island and today are an important part of the thriving e-business sector, which accounts for around 19 percent of the Isle of Man economy.