2018: The Year of Regulation

If 2017 has been the year of widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, 2018 will almost certainly be the year of regulation. The recent explosion of the popularity of blockchain technology has created immense pressure for regulatory bodies around the world to catch up to the demands of companies who seek legal clarity in how to conduct their business. Poorly defined legislation can be a hindrance to progress and innovation as companies remain relatively unwilling to take risk in a murky legal environment. While many countries around the world are dragging their feet on the issue, several stand out as being pioneers of blockchain regulation.

Just this week, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission approved a bill designed to create a solid legal framework for blockchain based companies to interact within. The bill paves the way for legislation drafted back in October to become law starting on January 1st, 2018. As one of the first regulatory bodies in the world to draft and pass rules targeted specifically to the emerging blockchain community, Gibraltar has made it very clear that they welcome the emerging technology and the innovation that it will surely bring over the years to come.

Up next on the list of regulatory challenges to be tackled in Gibraltar? A concrete framework for the execution of ICOs. This has become an especially hot issue around the world as ICOs have developed an increasingly relevant reputation of being somewhat scammy. Just a few weeks ago, I published a brief article about the SAFT protocol, which seeks to outline a framework for conducting ICOs based on a similar legal framework used for traditional equity-based investment opportunities. It will certainly be interesting to see how the ICO question is answered by different regulatory bodies around the world in the months to come.

Also, Bitcoin is trading above $17,000 today so that’s cool too.

Have any questions, comments, or thoughts about regulating blockchain based tech? I’m going to be writing a long-form policy commentary on the issue in the weeks to come and would love to hear your thoughts. Leave them below!