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Jersey Government Plans to Regulate Digital Currency in 2016

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Jersey is an island off of the coast of Normandy with a self-governing government but still autonomously attached to the United Kingdom. Much like the Isle of Man, Jersey has been seen as one of the safe havens for digital currencies. It has led a lot of people working on financial and technological innovation to settle their business there.

The island is interested in securing its future in the emerging world of digital currency and how it could benefit their community. By taking this in mind, the Island government is pushing forward with plans to regulate and establish legislation for digital currency businesses on the island:

“The Government has arrived at a policy position in respect of the regulation of virtual currency. Ultimately, the aim of this policy is to further enhance Jersey’s proposition as a world leading Fintech jurisdiction”

Jersey’s assistant chief minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, today released an introductory statement outlining how digital currency regulation will focus on exchanges, ATMs, and especially those services that connect digital currency to Fiat currency.

Besides creating regulation to protect consumers, the government wants to put in action measures to protect against the misuse of digital currencies:

“In considering regulatory options, the importance of balancing the protection of the Island from money laundering and terrorist financing risk against stifling innovation and growth in this emerging sector were at the forefront of consideration.”

The government believes placing the exchange digital and fiat currencies businesses under statutes governing the activities of money services businesses is the most sensible option to take at this moment:

“The purpose of the policy document is to outline Jersey’s commitment to creating an environment that encourages confidence and innovation in the digital sector whilst protecting the Island from the most prominent money laundering and terrorist financing risks that are presented by virtual currencies in their current form.”

The government also mentioned its position regarding the development of future standards for applications of the blockchain and digital currencies regarding new payment systems, stating:

“The Government acknowledges the huge potential of distributed ledger technology to change the future of finance.”

This document comes months after Jersey’s government started out a public comment period regarding its plans. The comment period was held between July and August. Now, after this public survey Jersey’s assistant chief minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, hopes to bring the draft legislation to the States Assembly, in early 2016.

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