On the 1st February 2021 the Gibraltar Association for New Technologies held its first AGM where a number of new individuals have joined following the original committee’s initial 2 year term since the association’s founding and commencement. The committee has since held its first executive meeting and has agreed a number of action points to bring GANT into the new year and the new committee’s tenure. Items covered in this update:
· New Committee Update
· Increased Community Engagement – Slack & Lunch Club
· No Fees for 2021
· Action plan and objectives for 2021
· Committee Profiles
· Upcoming Events
New Committee Update
It was agreed at the AGM that the following candidates for the committee would be accepted with Nicky Gomez, Targ Patience, Philip Vasquez and Luke Walsh bringing their experience and ambition to the committee. Joey Garcia, Thomas Johnson, Anthony Provasoli and Javi Triay will continue to serve the committee following their existing positions since they were last elected at the association’s commencement in 2018. For further information on the committee’s members please see the information at the end of this statement.
The association would like to thank those who have served in the committee for its first term and will be stepping down, namely Nick Cowan, Vickram Khatwani, Desiree McHard, Ian Torilla and David Parody. In particular we would all wish to thank Mr David Parody who has served as the association’s first chair where he started with fundamental work in getting the association off the ground by working with the Government of Gibraltar for the initiative of the trade association and introducing the constitution.
The new committee has since held its first meeting where it was agreed that Joey Garcia and Anthony Provasoli will take the role of Co-Chairperson, Nicky Gomez will serve as Vice-Chair, Luke Walsh will serve as Treasurer and Philip Vasquez will be serving as the association’s Secretary. The remainder of the committee will serve the association through key working groups and participation.
Increased Community Engagement
Whilst the committee have identified a number of action points and ambitions, the committee clearly appreciate the value of leveraging the community’s experiences, knowledge and ambition in order to develop common objectives into continuing Gibraltar’s reputation and abilities as a leading jurisdiction in emerging technologies and DLT. As a result, the committee have set up dedicated Slack channels for members and observers to contribute to that can be accessed here for the next 14 days : https://join.slack.com/share/zt-m5qvwy8i-XeytjM8Jy4xEhnA~TF5aNg, if not please email us and we will provide access. For those not familiar with Slack, an instant messaging platform, the association would still welcome open communication and suggestions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reaching out to any of the committee members. Points can also be made by email in confidence that they may be treated anonymously.
In addition to the above, the association will be holding an open virtual lunch club where members and the committee will be discussing any key concerns, ambitions and points of interest with members in order to identify key objectives and action points. This will be held on Wednesday the 24th February 2021 at 1pm and members can attend on zoom by joining https://gibraltarlawyers.zoom.us/j/3874697895 with further details provided on https://newtech.gi. An agenda and any build up will be circulated to members via the Slack communications channel.
No Membership Fees for 2021
In line with the association’s new ambition of harnessing engagement, the committee will be waiving fees membership for 1st February 2021 – 31 January 2022. The association would like to thank members for their contributions to date and the association will continue to charge for membership and value-add events, such as training, in the future.
Action plan and objectives for 2021
The committee will be putting together an action plan for the next 12 months that will help focus our attention, prioritise our actions and ensure we serve the association and its members well. In developing our plan of action, we will be seeking input from all members.
We have ambitious plans, and the committee has already identified the following high level objectives:
· To ensure there is regular engagement and communication with existing and new members.
· To support the development of sound policy in areas affecting our members.
· To support the development of smart, proportionate regulation that encourages innovation and the use of new technologies.
· To help promote Gibraltar as a safe, vibrant place from where to conduct good business.
· To provide guidance, training and education to members and the wider community to support the growth and sustainability of the new technologies in Gibraltar.
Co-Chair Joey Garcia
Joey is considered as one of the pioneers for the regulation of the virtual currency and distributed ledger technology space. He was recognised by Chambers&Partners as one of the top 12 lawyers in the world in this space in the first ever Global ranking as well as being a band 1 lawyer in Gibraltar. Joey sits on the boards of the Xapo Bank and Xapo VASP, and on the board of RSK/IOV Labs on the protocol layer. He acts for a number of the largest groups in the world in this space, including the Huobi group, Block.one, Square, Bitso, Gnosis, LMAX, RSK, Coinfirm and other firms regulated in Gibraltar and on that basis holds a strong industry connection. He also represents Xapo on the Diem association where he also sits on the regulatory and policy working group.
Joey is also a member of the prestigious global Wharton Reg@Tech think tank in Philadelphia which brings together fintech academics and Regulators from around the world to discuss issues and current developments in the sector. He is a founding member of the European think tank (thinkBlocktank) established in Luxembourg which is also a member of INATBA (International association for trusted blockchain applications). He is also a member of the Digital Chamber of Commerce in Washington where he co-authored a segment of their report ‘Understanding Digital Tokens, market overview and guidelines for policymakers and practitioners’. Joey also works with the United Nations ODC where he contributed to their manual for law enforcement agencies and has also contributed to their Southeast Asia working group for a few years where he has moderated the discussions on trading platforms, and defi regulatory developments around the world. He was also invited to the International think tank ‘Global Blockchain Convergence’ as part of the steering committee, and which forms the basis of the international group engaged by the Government of Gibraltar to develop the 10th Regulatory Principle under our DLT Framework. He also conducted the FATF gap analysis for Gibraltar on its DLT/VASP assessment exercise. Finally, Joey is an appointed University lecturer on the subject of DLT regulation for legal students in Gibraltar and remains committed to the profiling and development of Gibraltar in this fast evolving space.
Co-Chair – Anthony Provasoli
Anthony is a Partner and co-leads Hassans’ Fintech team. Anthony has been advising on crypto currency and blockchain related work since 2014 and was very involved in promoting the regulation of crypto currency related business in Gibraltar. Anthony has advised and assisted the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission in preparing the guidance notes for the DLT Regulations and is often invited to form part of working groups that are consulted from time to time on certain legal and regulatory amendments that the Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission are considering in relation to Gibraltar’s DLT regulations. He has advised a number of high-profile multinational crypto currency businesses, DLT providers and FinTech firms that are looking to set up operations in Gibraltar and Europe more broadly. Anthony has also advised clients undertaking token sales from Gibraltar and regularly advises investors in this sector and early stage start-ups who are looking for guidance on the structuring of their products and/or business proposition. Anthony has been invited to speak at several international Blockchain and FinTech events and, being listed in the highest tier on both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners rankings, he is considered a leading lawyer in this sector.
Vice Chair – Nicky Gomez
Nicky Gomez is a Partner at XReg Consulting, a group of former regulators with practical experience in formulating public policy and developing regulation for Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and virtual assets.
As XReg’s Risk and Regulatory Compliance Lead, Nicky ’s expertise is in financial services regulation, risk management and the development and implementation of regulatory frameworks. Nicky educates his clients on risk-based and outcomes-oriented regulation and helps them develop simple but effective strategies to manage risk and leverage smart innovation.
Nicky developed a reputation for his pragmatic approach to regulation during his time at the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC), where he was part of the team that led the design and implementation of the strategy, policy and legal framework that delivered the world’s first bespoke regulatory framework for firms that use DLT.
Secretary – Philip Vasquez
Philip has enjoyed working in DLT, financial services and emerging technologies in Gibraltar and London over the past 7 years. Since practising in Gibraltar with TSN, Philip has advised a number of businesses and funds on a spectrum of legal issues in emerging technologies. Philip also has first-hand experience starting and running a DLT business with Digital Asset Management Limited (DAM), Gibraltar’s only home-grown DLT authorised firm. In 2017 DAM underwent the FSC’s authorisation as one of the world’s first regulated digital asset OTC desks. Philip was also involved in ongoing regulatory oversight where he was responsible for setting up all legal and compliance matters.
Prior to being in Gibraltar, he worked in big-data and fintech in London’s silicon roundabout community where he dealt with operations and legal matters. This included policy, negotiating API data agreements and typical growing pains of scaling a business.
Philip has held board/committee level positions in industry association and policy groups where he has helped them grow from the ground up, developed their governance (constitution & board composition), been involved in policy matters developing legislation and fighting for member interests. Philip has been a Director of the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses (2018-20), organiser of the Gibraltar Startup Community (2015-17), and member of the Gibraltar Bar Council (2016-17).
Treasurer – Luke Walsh
Luke is a director in PwC Gibraltar with over 11 years local experience servicing a range of clients from many industries, including crypto, traditional financial services, gaming and construction. Being the PwC Gibraltar crypto leader, Luke takes an active role in many PwC Global Crypto Groups that are responsible for publishing the PwC Crypto Funds report, the PwC Crypto M&A report and the PwC Global Tax report. He is also on the PwC Crypto Accounting working group and the PwC DeFI working group, providing him with valuable resources, information, training and knowledge. Since becoming involved in servicing the crypto industry in 2017, Luke has been involved in many crypto engagements including regulatory applications, accounting and tax advice, financial reporting, structuring, insolvency and business restructuring.
Thomas Johnson is currently Chief Operating Officer at Digital Asset Management Ltd (DAM). DAM is a Gibraltar start-up founded in 2017 and is now an established leader in the Blockchain industry processing tens of millions per-month in digital asset. He oversees daily operations of the business which includes Crypto custodianship, Crypto OTC and Portfolio Management services. Since 2016 Thomas has helped organise ad-hoc Blockchain events within the local community. He is also a member of the British Blockchain Association and believes he could add value to the Gibraltar Association for New Technologies with his operational experience, knowledge and network within the Blockchain and Fin-tech industries.
Targ is one of the founding partners of Dolya Consulting, a Gibraltar-based business development, compliance and regulatory advisory firm that works with businesses engaging in regulated activities. He is a regulatory expert and compliance leader with 18 years’ industry experience, who specializes in financial markets, FinTech and DLT. Targ has worked with a number of high-profile clients in the blockchain, financial services and FinTech / RegTech industries with a presence in or connection to Gibraltar. He previously served as Group Chief Compliance & Regulatory Officer of GSX Group, which he left mid-2019 before establishing Dolya Consulting with three other partners. Prior to life in Gibraltar, he spent over seven years leading a compliance and regulatory change consultancy in the City of London, working with major financial institutions and market infrastructures – including Goldman Sachs, RBS Group, Barclays Investment Bank and LCH.Clearnet – on the advocacy, technical interpretation and implementation of numerous regulatory and market reforms. Targ values strong logical reasoning and creative problem solving, whilst upholding the principles of determination, innovation and honest communication in all that he does. He firmly believes that an open and collaborative environment is essential for the holistic success of any venture. Outside of work, he is a keen sailor and nature enthusiast with a passion for adventure and sustainability.
Javi has advised on a wide variety of financial services matters which include establishing regulated entities and advising them on their applications to the GFSC. He also regularly advises licensed entities with regulatory issues and has advised on the establishment of numerous funds in Gibraltar with a variety of strategies including crypto. Javi has been instrumental in establishing the FinTech team as one of the most highly regarded teams in Gibraltar and since the enactment of the distributed ledger technology regulations, he has been advising numerous blockchain start-ups and traditional financial services firms using blockchain technology on their establishment and regulatory position in Gibraltar. Javi formed part of the working group being consulted by HM Government of Gibraltar on regulations to govern token sales/initial coin offerings/token generation events. Legal 500 recognises Javi’s involvement in the investment funds sector and Chambers and Partners describe him as having “a considerable practice and knowledge base relating to cryptocurrency, as well as in licensing, token sales and broader regulatory mandates”.
GBBC Virtual embers Summit – 22 February 2021 – 2-5pm CET
Minister for Digital and Financial Services, Albert isola, will be speaking at the upcoming GBBC Virtual Members Summit EMEA. The summit will take place on 22 February 2021 from 2-5pm CET. Minister Isola will give a 10 minute presentation and then join other speakers for a Q&A. GBBC have agreed to extend this invitation to GANT members. A simple registration is required at no cost and is accessed below.
Representatives from GANT may join this intimate GBBC members-only roundtable discussion (there is no charge) with leaders from government, industry, and academia focused on:
Digital Infrastructure and the Digital Economy
1. Global Standards and Regulation
2. Sustainable and Resilient Systems.
Speakers include: The Hon. Albert Isola MP, Minister for Digital and Financial Services, HM Government of Gibraltar; Scott O’Malia, CEO, International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA); and, Caroline Malcolm, Head of Global Blockchain Policy Centre, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Link to Register and for Additional Information:
Gibraltar Startup Grind – Fireside Chat with Gibraltar Insurtechs Marshmallow & Zego – 24 February 2pm CET
The last part of 2020 saw the news of 2 successful insurtech startups in the UK, Marshmallow and Zego, setting up in Gibraltar. Startup grind will be hosting a fireside Chat w/ Oliver Kent-Braham, CEO and Co-Founder of Marshmallow and Don McCormack VP Growth at Zego, moderated by Michael Ashton Senior Finance Centre Executive responsible for Insurance within Gibraltar Finance with opening remarks delivered by Hon. Minister for Digital & Financial Services Albert Isola MP.
Looking forward to hearing from you all.
With best regards,
Executive Committee – Secretary
Gibraltar Association for New Technologies