The Isle of Man Opens its Doors to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Businesses

September 8, 2015         By: Michael Cheng

The Isle of Man could be the next hub for savvy bitcoin investors and entrepreneurs.

“The Isle of Man has always maintained a very positive attitude to digital currency and in line with this approach the Government are currently developing a new and wide ranging digital strategy for its own services,” said Nick Williamson, founder of Pythia, a company that specializes in customized blockchain software.

The startup is currently helping the Manx government build a registry for cryptocurrency businesses. Once the project is in full swing, the Isle of Man will be the first country to use blockchain technology to keep tabs of official data.

Impressively, e-commerce, online gaming and other tech-related businesses make up over 20 percent of the country’s annual gross domestic product.

To further supplement this trend, the government amended the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008. The ruling now includes bitcoin businesses and digital currency exchanges.

Amendments to the act states the following:

“[Those in] the business of issuing, transmitting, transferring, providing safe custody or storage of, administering, managing, lending, buying, selling, exchanging or otherwise trading or intermediating convertible virtual currencies, including crypto-currencies or similar concepts where the concept is accepted by persons as a means of payment for goods or services, a unit of account, a store of value or a commodity.”

Under the new updates, such companies must closely adhere to anti-money laundering and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements. Suspicious criminal activities in the space will be reported to the government for further action.

By establishing transparent regulations for digital currency startups, the Isle of Man hopes to further stimulate the local economy.

The Manx Digital Currency Association was also recently established to facilitate open communication between the government, regulators and the growing bitcoin community.