Xapo, a bitcoin technology company, announced today that it will be expanding its operations in Gibraltar. The company already holds a financial services license in Gibraltar and is in the process of seeking further authorizations from the regulatory bodies of the British overseas-territory.
Xapo was founded in 2014 and is purported to be the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world. The company offers customers ‘cold storage’ for their bitcoins meaning their stashes of the cryptocurrency are stored offline in secure vaults. The firm used to offer bitcoin debit cards but Visa, along with regulatory authorities, put an end to the service earlier this year.
Today’s announcement follows in the wake of a flurry of interest from cryptocurrency companies, such as eToro, in Gibraltar. Unlike other jurisdictions, the Gibraltarian government has been reasonably hospitable towards cryptocurrency firms.
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In January of this year, it launched the Digital Ledger Technology Regulatory Framework that provides clear guidance to crypto firms wanting to set up camp on the island. Since then it has announced that it is drafting initial coin offering (ICO) regulation that is likely to go live in October of this year. Xapo has already received a level of regulatory approval from the island’s authorities but is looking to get further permissions to continue its expansion plans.
What those planned expansions are is unclear. Xapo did not go into a huge amount of detail regarding their expansion on the island – they simply said they will be expanding.
Whatever the case, the company has made some important connections in the territory already. On his recent trip to the island, Wences Casares, Xapo’s CEO, met with the head of the Gibraltarian government, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, and the Minister for Commerce, Albert Isola.