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UK ‘Bitcoin Isle’ Amends Law for Digital Currency Exchanges

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:51 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:51 PM

The government of Jersey, an autonomous island and a dependent of the British Crown, is set to introduce new regulation for digital currency exchanges.

Legislators of the State of Jersey, a British Crown dependency are amending laws to regulate digital currency exchanges in the island that is seen as a tax haven and an attractive destination for Fintech services and companies.

Fundamentally, the new law will see bitcoin- and cryptocurrency exchanges feel more stringent regulations when they grow bigger.

The new legislation, titled “Proceeds of Crime (Supervisory Bodies) (Virtual Currency Exchange Business) (Exemption) (Jersey) Order 2016” [PDF ] comes following deliberation on the government’s part for well over a year in an effort to combat money laundering and other forms of financial crime.

Published late last month, the new government order by the Jersey’s State Assembly will mean digital currency exchanges will meet registration and regulatory requirements if their annual turnover is more than £150,000.

Digital currency service providers will have up to three months to notify the Jersey government, or face sanction. Exchanges operating on a turnover less than that figure will be exempt.

An excerpt from the new order reads:

[A] person shall not be taken to have committed any offence under Article 10(4) of the Law for a period of 3 months beginning with the day on which the turnover of the person’s virtual currency exchange business, in the calendar year immediately preceding that day is or exceeds £150,000.

The regulation was first revealed  during the island’s first Fintech conference in October 2015, when Jersey’s assistant chief minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, spoke about a “light touch” regulation for digital currencies.

Previously the Treasury Minister of the island from the English Channel, Ozouf has been welcoming toward cryptocurrencies- & Fintech- related investment.

Backing local bitcoin advocacy group bit.coin.je, Ozouf has previously stated:

Our infrastructure of world-class financial services and digital expertise gives us the tools to be an early leader in the field. Innovation will be central to Jersey’s future prosperity.

The advocacy group shows 16 establishments in the island that are now accepting bitcoin as a method of payment.

Featured image from iStock.