ICOs, Crypto-Tokens and Blockchain Legitimized at a Stroke as Rock Solid Gibraltar Swoops In


The future is arriving a lot sooner than almost anyone thought as, fuelled by billions in ICO cash, the blockchain revolution moves ten times faster than the internet revolution ever did: Gibraltar, their nimble regulator and Stock Exchange are providing an exemplar that may now become a blue-print, for others around the globe.

The next leap forward has now appeared in full view in the form of ‘GBX’ (Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange) and the Rock Token.

The agile, not the behemoths, are the key players and will be the chief beneficiaries. Estonia has led the way with digital identity. now Gibraltar, a self governing British overseas territory, who enact their own laws independent of the UK, are not just throwing their weight behind Blockchain technology, Tokens and the ICO – but are already running their own ICO to boot!

This is significant as a trailblazer for regulators and better, smarter, regulation around the world giving ICOs and tokens a gold-plated root into the bedrock of the traditional economy and markets, while accelerating the acceptance of blockchain technology.

With an ICO to fund the ‘Rock Token’ so to create “The world’s first nationally regulated and fully licensed exchange and marketplace for digital tokens and cryptocurrency assets” – and the ambition to create a new ecosystem.

This is one of the most significant announcements of the year, trumping even those from China’s regulator and the USA’s regulator the SEC.

The Gibraltar Stock Exchange is leading the way – leaving the rest of the world in its wake, leapfrogging other contenders. By working together with their regulator to create smart regulation, from the ground up, fit for the Blockchain age.


Something the behemoths in China, the USA and elsewhere will inevitably struggle with given the weight of their ‘legacy’ – and vested interests.

Nor is this any half-hearted soft announcement. Having met both MD Nick Cowan and his team including Philip Young and Daniel Evans, the visionary behind this carefully planned and well funded move, I can tell you that Gibraltar is deadly serious, as well as seriously well placed.

I asked Nick Cowan at a recent private briefing about this and he modestly remarked that luck has played a part, the exchange having been considering its options for a computerised trading system and expansion when the blockchain came along and started to explode – opening a whole new landscape – and a new world of opportunity for Gibraltar and its stock exchange.

After WW2 the British Economy struggled while Germany’s soon started to thrive because rebuilding anew, almost from scratch, provided a huge benefit in terms of modernisation and so efficiencies.

Gibraltar is indeed fortunate, as well as smart, in having a solid track record and experience to go with it, without the encumbrance of legacy systems and processes. Plus the nimbleness that goes with their size and largely independent status.

Add to that their ability to operate natively across the UK and (for the moment at least) the EU, as well as internationally and it’s hard to imagine a more potent mix. Unless that is you also add in their well motivated and funded new technology partners the Broctagon Fintech Group.

Nick Cowan has rightly remarked;

“Blockchains are a technology that will fundamentally change things” and their plans are correspondingly ambitious. Including moving to an “integrated GSX/GBX Comprehensive Crypto Markets Platform [which] will include: Token Sale Platform, Cryptocurrency Exchange, Stock Exchange, Fund Services, Corporate Services, Crypto Fund, Banking facilities, E-Money Institution and Asset Management”.

And then integrating this with the GSX – their established stock market.

The future, or a great big piece of it the size of the the rock of Gibraltar, just arrived.



Barry E James is author of New Routes to Funding, an influential commentator and global thought-leader on Fintech, ICOs, Tokens and Crowdfunding & their innovation & regulation. A serial entreprenur with a deep background in tech and innovation over four decades he advises ICOs, Crowdfunds and Blockchain ventures on strategy. The instigator of the regulatory ‘Innovation Unit’ (and so sandboxes) he is also co-chair of the joint Westminster Crowdfunding Forum and All-Party-Parliamentary-Group. He is co-founder and CEO of TheCrowdfundingCenter and ICONewsDesk which collect and provide data and unbiased analysis.


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