The Gibraltar Stock Exchange has been awarded a license for its subsidiary the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), making it the first fully regulated blockchain exchange to be owned by a stock exchange.

The distributed ledger technology (DLT) licence was awarded by the Gibraltar Financial Services commission.

It followed a rigorous process to ensure the GBX met the standards of a European Union exchange.

Blockchain exchange furthers Gibraltar’s goal to be blockchain leader

As a key financial hub in Europe, Gibraltar is setting its sights on becoming a leader in the blockchain space, making this approval extremely important for the region.

“The awarding of this licence is further evidence of the effective collaboration taking place between the public and private sectors in Gibraltar that is making this jurisdiction a force to be reckoned with in the global blockchain industry,” said Albert Isola, MP and Gibraltar’s Minister for Commerce.

“The DLT regulatory framework continues to provide a road to market for quality companies like the GBX, while also providing them with the flexibility to continue to innovate with this technology.”

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Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange: high quality digital assets

The GBX is designed to be a world-leading blockchain exchange with a global listing and token sales.

It is intended that institutions will use it to trade high-quality utility tokens, meaning it will have a strict due diligence and admissions process.

This is particularly important given the questionable nature of some blockchain tokens. If the GBX is to be viewed with the same level of trust as EU stock exchanges, it will need to provide the same level of rigour and transparency.

“The team at the GBX have shown a clear understanding of the nine regulatory principles outlined in the legislative framework and a commitment to building a sustainable blockchain ecosystem here in Gibraltar,” said Isola.

“They have been strong advocates of sensible regulations for the blockchain industry and this announcement is vindication of that supportive attitude.”

The announcement is also good news for the wider blockchain industry, as it follows a number of moves by traditional financial players to embrace the technology.

The development of such institutions adds credibility to this emerging market, and attracts investment from more conservative and established avenues.