The Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development announced it’s plans to bring regulations into the Bitcoin space that would help protect businesses and customers using digital currencies.
“Our stance is intended to welcome those who can meet the necessary standards while also preserving the Island’s good reputation as a financial centre.” – Peter Greenhill (Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development Director of E-Business Development)
The Isle of Man is choosing to recognize Bitcoin as property instead of currency and apply appropriate AML (anti-money laundering) controls to prevent potential criminal activity.
Don’t worry, Bitcoiners, the Isle of Man will not make an all-out “regulatory regime” because they do not want to inhibit an innovation but recognizes that international standards may develop as the market matures.
The Isle of Man is intending to include digital currencies in the “Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 and the Designated Business (Registration and Oversight) Bill 2014.” Therefore, businesses in the digital currencies field would need to register with the Financial Supervision Commission to make sure they are compliant with AML guidelines and are well managed.
When do these policies take effect?
“There will be two stages. First there will be the inclusion of digital currency activity in Schedule 4 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008, which will occur later in 2014. The effect of this will be that such businesses will need to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering Code. Second will be the inclusion of digital currency activity in the Designated Business (Registration and Oversight) Bill 2014 which is still subject to Tynwald approval and subsequent Royal Assent. It is expected that the Bill will be enacted during the first half of 2015. When enacted digital currency businesses will be required to register with the Financial Supervision Commission who will become responsible for oversight of their anti- money laundering compliance.”
The Isle of Man also encouraged digital currency start-ups to approach banks on their own regard to see if they will conduct business, but that is up to the bank.
What should businesses do now?
The Isle of Man suggests that businesses should decide this on their own, but they mention that consumer protection will be put first, so businesses beware, you are welcomed, but consumers come first.
Overall, this is great news from the Isle, as they are recognizing the oncoming flood of digital currency related uses and businesses, so by the time this comes, clear policies will be in place.