Last updated on June 12th, 2014 at 02:31 pm
The Isle of Man government announced that it would be monitoring and assessing innovations in the cryptocurrency industry. Essentially, it is becoming a hub for bitcoins and the virtual currency market as it will not require bitcoin licenses and the Junior Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an event next week so citizens can learn about digital currencies.
Aside from the assistance being offered by the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development, it is being reported that six businesses – ranging from an accountant firm to a broadband Internet provider – are coalescing to establish a so-called incubator for bitcoin startup companies.
It has been noted that these six businesses, including Wi-Manx, Dixcart, KPMG, and the national postal service, will offer either free or discounted services for bitcoin startups in order to help produce innovation in the marketplace. For instance, Wi-Manx will offer free engineering time, while Dixcart will help startups get their hands on discounted office space and leases.
The incubator will be open to all bitcoin startups and these outlets will simply have to contact the involved parties to discuss the matter.
“We don’t want to burden the companies during their development phase. It would just be a case of chatting with the [startup]and if it all sounds good we’ll go with it. We’ll take everyone based on merit,” Managing director Joe Hughes told CoinDesk. “Historically, online poker was the big draw, and that extended to bingo and betting. You’ve now got an ecosystem of software developers and fair regulation guarantees, so a lot of the framework is already there to lend itself to digital currency businesses.”
This endeavor could very well spur economic growth in a country that maintains a population of approximately 100,000 on a small island between the United Kingdom and Ireland. The government is also on board as various departments will cooperate in order to make the Isle of Man a supposed bitcoin safe haven.
“The government has instructed the relevant departments and statutory bodies to ensure there is a regime that promotes both business opportunities but also applies appropriate anti-money laundering requirements,” said Peter Greenhill, director of e-business development in the Manx Department of Economic Development, in a statement.
Even bitcoin exchanges are not regulated, according to Martin Katz from Middleton Katz Chartered Securities LLC, who explained the state of bitcoin in the nation in a blog post. “The Island’s Financial Regulator of the Financial Supervision Commission recently confirmed that an Isle of Man entity acting as a Bitcoin exchange where the payment processor was located outside the Island fell outside the current regulation.”
As more central banks, governments and financial institutions worldwide crack down on the bitcoin market, the Isle of Man may become the nucleus for all businesses and services related to bitcoin in the future a la the Cayman Islands and offshore money.