The government of the self-governing Isle of Man has launched the Blockchain Office and the Isle of Man Sandbox to provide support for blockchain businesses operating from its jurisdiction. This has been done to promote economic growth and embrace the new breed of blockchain companies.
Digital Isle of Man, the government body behind this move, says that this is part of a new commitment by the British dependency to become an international hub for businesses working with this emerging and transformative technology.
The chief executive of Digital Isle of Man, Lyle Wraxall, announced, “We are looking to attract premium blockchain businesses and the world’s top exchanges to the Island, and we will be creating new tech-agnostic regulation inspired by best practice that we’ve seen from other high-quality jurisdictions around the world.”
The role of the Blockchain Office will be to assist businesses in maneuvering through the complex international regulatory frameworks. Dialogue between regulators and businesses is encouraged in order for the businesses to tailor their existing and future products to relevant legislation and regulation. Through this office, the businesses will receive assistance in various areas such as industry expertise and guidance as well as marketing support.
Applications to the Isle of Man Sandbox will open in March, and businesses will be able to apply for the sandbox through the Blockchain Office. This sandbox, which the Isle of Man hopes to launch by spring, will provide a safe testing environment where business can develop blockchain platforms. Eventually, cross-border testing will be achieved thanks to the sandbox’s participation in global forums and other sandboxes.
Even before the launch of these systems, the Isle of Man has been a hub for internet gambling. The government allows virtual currencies to be gambled with online operators, subject to the approval of a gaming license. The first blockchain-based lottery, built by Quanta using Ethereum smart contracts, is based in the Isle of Man.
“The Isle of Man−which was among the first jurisdictions in the world to establish a legislative framework for virtual currencies−has been home to leading exchanges since 2013, and is the headquarters of blockchain businesses including CoinCorner, Quanta, Luckbox and Qadre,” Daphne Caine, a member of Digital Isle of Man, explained.
While other countries such as Saudi Arabia and Malta are also undertaking such initiatives, regulatory bodies such as the International Monetary Fund criticize these open positions to blockchain technology as high risk for money laundering and fraud.
Source: http://www.fstech.co.uk/fst/Isle_of_Man_Blockchain_Sandbox.php, image from Intellecsoft