Nearly 200 entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, private sector representatives and governmental officials were convened last week for the Crypto Valley Summit 2014 in the Isle of Man to share their points of views on numerous topics involving digital currencies and discuss the opportunities and challenges that is facing the industry.
The two-day event took place on the island from September 17 to 18 and gathered leading industry entrepreneurs from all over the world including the Founders of GoCoin, Steve Beauregard and Brock Pierce, the CEO of Counting House, Paul Davis, the CEO of Instabil, Jason Field, and the CEO of BankToTheFuture, Simon Dixon.
The experts discussed the future of digital currencies and tackled the industry's most urging issues, including regulation, cybersecurity threats, as well as more specific matters such as banking and card processing for Bitcoin, the future of the payments industry, global discrepancies in VAT and taxation schemes and the link between digital currencies and e-Gaming.
The Crypto Valley Summit 2014 was also the occasion to celebrate the leading position the Isle of Man has taken on digital currencies. In June, the Isle of Man announced its plan for developing a framework for the regulation of digital currencies, noting they should be recognized as properties rather than currencies.
In July, the Government shared further guidance on digital currencies regulation when noting that "certain activities relating to virtual currencies should be brought within the Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism framework."
Without a doubt, the Isle of Man has been one of the most Bitcoin-friendly places in the world, with its Government fully supporting major digital currency-related events such as the Crypto Valley Summit.
Steve Beauregard, CEO of GoCoin and keynote speaker at the Crypto Valley Summit 2014 stated in a press release:
"The Isle of Man Crypto Valley Summit (CVS) should become the industry’s go-to event for digital currency executives. In my experience speaking at worldwide bitcoin conferences, the engagement and collaboration between government, service providers and digital currency ecosystem companies at CVS was unparalleled."
Beauregard noted that the political and economic environment in the Isle of Man was fairly favorable for businesses related to digital currencies, adding that the island offered "many competitive advantages over the US, UK, Luxembourg and Singapore, when it comes to doing business in the sector." The executive said also added:
"The Isle of Man’s value proposition includes greater open government access, talented business people, a thriving and professional-grade e-Gaming industry, government clarity and a favourable regulatory landscape."
Peter Greenhill, Director of e-Business at the Isle of Man's Department of Economic Development mentioned the country's intention in "becoming a technology hub," noting that e-business currently accounts for 15% of the Island's GDP, a number that should grow to 23% by 2020.
- Peter Greenhill
On the topic of digital currencies, Greenhill said:
"The Crypto Valley Summit further solidified our role in providing a favourable environment for high-quality businesses in the sector. Since announcing our digital currency position, over 20 companies have been set up on the Island in this sector."
Greenhill also noted that cryptocurrency-related businesses would have to comply with the relevant laws and rulings, especially regarding money laundering, in order to prevent financial crimes:
"The measures we are planning in relation to things like anti-money laundering are there to encourage innovation while helping to keep crime out, and to ultimately protect businesses and customers utilising digital currencies. We welcome those who can meet the necessary standards while also preserving the Island’s good reputation as a financial centre."
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