Public/private partnership Digital Isle of Man, a key decision maker and advisory body for the economic prosperity of the sector, has formed a Blockchain Office and is to launch an Isle of Man Sandbox, established to guide blockchain businesses through current (and future) regulatory landscapes, with expert-led assistance and support.
These initiatives form part of a major new commitment for the Isle of Man to become an international hub for blockchain businesses, providing a fully supportive and collaborative environment. The Island welcomes innovative technology, and will not regulate blockchain in isolation, giving businesses the flexibility to best use this emerging and transformative technology.
The primary function of the Blockchain Office will be to facilitate a dialogue between businesses and regulators, and to help blockchain platforms design and future-proof their concepts in accordance with relevant legislation and regulation. The Office will also provide expertise, guidance, and marketing support, as well as facilitate and encourage collaboration between companies.
Through the Blockchain Office, businesses will be able to apply to participate in the Isle of Man Blockchain Sandbox. Applications for the Sandbox will be open from March 2019, with the office fully functional in the spring. Early participants will not be charged fees for the facility, which will provide them with access to an environment where they can develop and test blockchain platforms.
The sandbox will benefit from the expertise garnered from future participation in other international forums and sandboxes that encourage cross-border testing. A robust selection process will also ensure that all participants are of the highest quality, as the Island seeks to create a ‘centre of excellence’ ecosystem.
“With the launch of the Blockchain Office and Sandbox, the Isle of Man is making a firm commitment to be a fully supportive jurisdiction for the blockchain industry,” declared Lyle Wraxall, CEO of Digital Isle of Man. “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.’
Interaction between blockchain and the e-Gaming sector is already evidenced in Isle of Man legislation that allows virtual currencies to be deposited, withdrawn and gambled with e-Gaming operators, and the Island is home to the first blockchain-enabled lottery platform run on Ethereum using smart contracts.