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1st Meeting of the GANT Executive Committee

committeegantThe 1st meeting of GANT’s executive committee took place today.

The following positions were allocated;

  • Chairperson : David Parody
  • Vice Chairperson : Joey Garcia
  • Secretary : Javi Triay
  • Treasurer : Vickram Khatwani (not in photo)
  • Technical Committees : Desiree McHard and Anthony Provasoli
  • Marketing : Nick Cowan
  • Training : Ian Torrilla
  • Administrator : Thomas Johnson

The Executive also considered the applications for membership and a total of 7 Observers, 5 FSC Authorised Firms, 4 Firms using DLT and a further 17 Advisory firms were accepted as members of the Association.

Consideration was given to extending honorary membership to other trade associations and bodies who the executive considered would add value to the workings of the Association.

Annual fees were set by the Executive for the 1st year of operation at the following rates;

  • Corporates  @ £500 pa
  • Individuals @ £100 pa
  • Observers @ £200 pa
  • Representatives of members @ £100 per individual other than the 1st one.

The Chairperson will be writing to each applicant to confirm the successful determination of their application.

Various workstreams were identified for the Executive and sub-committees will soon be established to deal with these.  The Executive will also be seeking a meeting with the FSC by way of a formal introduction to its workstreams and members.

An EGM will be called for the 11th February 2019 where the membership will be asked to ratify the Constitution of the Association, Members of the Executive and to identify additional workstreams.

 

GANT Executive Committee voting results

The following have been voted in as members of the Executive of the Association following a vote amongst applicant firms.

 

Name Nick Cowan
Firm GSX Group Limited
NickCowan Nick is a specialist in investment business with over 30 years’ experience working in both Japan and Europe. He has over 30 years investment industry experience in Developed and Emerging Markets including five years as the Global Head of Equities for ING Barings serving as a Member of Executive Committee. Responsible for 2,500 employees in 43 countries, including 40 stock exchange memberships as well as numerous restructurings, turnarounds, acquisitions and divestments. He is currently the founder and CEO of The Gibraltar Stock Exchange Group.

Executive positions at INGB included: Member of 4 man Executive Committee; Chairman of Equity Markets Executive Committee; Head of European Equities; Chairman of Global Underwriting Committee; Member of Global Risk Committee; Member of Financial Markets Executive Committee; Member of ING UK Management Committee; Member ING New Products Committee; Member ING Global Limits Committee and Member of ING Executive Council – (Top 20 members of ING) responsible for 120,000 employees in 135 countries.

 

Name Joey Garcia
Firm Isolas
JoeyGarcia Joey is an internationally recognised thought leader in the DLT space. He was recognised by Chambers&Partners as one of the top 12 lawyers in the world in this space for 2018. He is also currently ranked as a Bank 1 Fintech lawyer in Gibraltar for 2018/19. Joey co-chaired the Government’s working group on Blockchain for 3 years which was specifically established to develop the infrastructure to accommodate a DLT regulatory framework in Gibraltar. Joey is 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, and a member and contributor to the Stablecoin Foundation and working group. He is a member of the Digital Chamber of Commerce in Washington where he co-authored a segment of their recent report ‘Understanding Digital Tokens, market overview and guidelines for policymakers and practitioners’ and is also involved on various working groups established by the group to address current issues. He also contributed to the first book published by Global Legal Insights on Blockchain and Cryptocurrency regulation for 2019 and is also the appointed lecturer at the Gibraltar University on the subject of DLT regulation for legal students.

Joey advises Xapo (the largest BTC wallet provider in the world) who are a regulated e-money firm in Gibraltar, Huobi (the 3rd largest exchange in the world) on its license application in Gibraltar, RSK (Rootstock)/RIF on their recently announced projects and developments on the new protocol layer, Bitso (the largest exchange in South America), Coinfloor (the largest exchange in London), Gnosis (the first Consensys backed project to have conducted its sale, being the first token sale in Gibraltar) and a large number of well-known groups in the space.

He has also contributed to various international events and initiatives as a speaker. Most recently this year the Token Summit in New York, The EU Blockchain Convention in Barcelona as a keynote speaker, LaBitConf in Chile on global regulation, and GibFin in London also as a keynote speaker. On Financial Services joey was the Chairman of the Gibraltar Funds & Investments Association from 2014-2016, chaired the technical committee for other years on the executive and formed part of the GFSC’s working groups for the transposition of both AIFMD and MiFID II.

 

Name Thomas Johnson
Firm Digital Asset Management
ThomasJohnson Thomas Johnson is currently Head of Operations at Digital Asset Management Ltd (DAM). He oversees daily operations of the business which include Crypto custodianship, Crypto OTC and Portfolio Management services. Thomas has helped organise events such as the ‘Blockchain – Back to basics’ event hosted by the GSX Blockchain Innovation Centre, of which DAM is a proud partner. Unable to find any accessible local community or forum to discuss developments in Blockchain, Thomas founded the Gibraltar Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Community late 2017, and has hosted ad-hoc events with the community as well. He is a member of the British Blockchain Association and believes he could add value to the Gibraltar Association for New Technologies.

 

Name Vickram Khatwani           
Firm Deloitte
VikramKhatwani Vickram is a senior manager with Deloitte in Gibraltar and overseas the firm’s tax department.

Vickram is actively involved on the firm’s significant tax compliance, advisory and due diligence engagements, advising clients in the financial services and gaming industries from a Gibraltar tax perspective and on cross-border matters where applicable.

Most recently, Vickram has been heavily involved in developing the firm’s offering in the Fintech space, specifically to blockchain based businesses looking to set up operations in or carry out token sales from Gibraltar.

Vickram is a member of the Gibraltar Society of Accountants (forming part of the Tax Faculty team), a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and is an Accounting and Finance graduate of Warwick Business School.

What Vickram brings:

  • Experienced leader with 12 years’ experience .
  • Proven track record of leading corporate tax and advisory engagements for components of large businesses.
  • In-depth knowledge of Gibraltar’s tax legislation and a good working relationship with Gibraltar’s tax and other authorities.
  • Strong awareness and understanding of Gibraltar’s DLT Sector and Regulatory Framework, and an active member of Deloitte’s Global Blockchain Community made up of professionals and technologists..

 

Name Desiree McHard
Firm BDO
DesireeMcHard Desiree McHard is the Managing Director of BDO Gibraltar, the firm’s Head of audit and assurance and International Liaison Partner.

A Chartered Certified Accountant and graduate of Leeds University, Desiree has been working in public practice for over twenty years. Initially training with another large audit firm and later being financial controller of an insurance firm and an asset manager, Desiree joined BDO in 2000.

Desiree specialises in financial services, with expertise in distributed ledger technology, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, funds and in the online gaming sector. She was closely involved in the IPOs of various Gibraltar companies which have been listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Desiree has served as the President of the Gibraltar Society of Accountants and as a board member of the Gibraltar Finance Centre Council. She is a board member of the University of Gibraltar’s audit committee, the Gibraltar Funds and Investment Association – Technical Committee, the Gibraltar Investor Compensation Scheme, and the FSC’s Auditors’ Advisory Panel.

Desiree was involved in the proposed changes to the Companies Act and the EIF legislation. She is actively involved in the promotion of Gibraltar’s Finance Centre and therefore regularly attends and participates in offshore events.

 

Name Anthony Provasoli
Firm Hassans
AnthonyProvasoli Anthony Provasoli is a Partner in Hassans International Law Firm and co-leads the firm’s FinTech team. Anthony has been advising on cryptocurrency and blockchain related work since 2014 and has been very involved in promoting the regulation of cryptocurrency related business in Gibraltar. Anthony assisted the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission in preparing the guidance notes for the DLT Regulations and has advised a number of high profile cryptocurrency businesses and DLT providers.

 

Name Ian Torrilla
Firm n-gineering.tech
IanTorrilla Engineer/technologist and business owner. Coder to Project Manager over 10 year career development in the UK. Founder of ISO 9001 accredited IT business in Gibraltar in 2000 providing IT services to the business community and developing our team.

During that time I have served actively on various Boards including

  • The Board of the GFSB for a decade, including Vice Chair, focusing on the development of the business environment in Gibraltar.
  • Five years on Government E-commerce advisory board,
  • The Board of Young Enterprise Gibraltar Ltd

Current member of the Gibraltar University Key Advisory Group for Business, and regularly liaise with University staff on Blockchain initiatives. A member of the British Blockchain Association.

Active and in depth research of Blockchain and DLT for past 18 months.

The appropriate application of technology has never been more relevant than in the current environment of new technologies.

Spreading the knowledge with relevance and direction. Under an overall strategy for the development of a base for international business, as well as creating in Gibraltar a centre of excellence for technical and business innovation under the right regulatory framework.

Ian Torrilla

http://www.n-gineering.tech/profile

http://www.linkedin.com/in/iantorrilla

ian.torrilla@n-gineering.tech

 

Name Javi Triay
Firm Triay & Triay
JaviTriay

Javi qualified as a solicitor in 2013 having undertaken his training contract at the firm. He forms part of the Triay & Triay’s Financial Services/Fintech Team.

Javi was instrumental in developing Triay & Triay’s Fintech practice having been involved in numerous ICOs, applications to the GFSC, crypto funds and more recently STOs.   He has formed part of the team creating the regulations to govern token sales. Javi regularly, advises on a number of licensing requirements and regulatory, operational, passporting and distribution matters in relation to “traditional” financial services firms.

Javi acts for the first listed crypto fund and is in the process of assisting with a DLT e-money institution in Gibraltar

 

GANT Launch Event

GANT had a launch event on the 29 Nov.  Opening remarks were delivered by Minister for Commerce the Hon. Albert Isola in which he welcomed all to the meeting and gave a brief introduction to HMGoG’s rationale for establishing the association.

The Meeting was then handed over to the Chairperson Designate, David Parody who outlined some of the timescales for getting the Association off the ground.  These are summarised as being;

  • 14th December – Final date for submissions of initial applications for membership
  • 14th December – Final date for nominations for Executive Committee members. In order to  ensure a good representation across all sectors, firms are requested to only nominate one person for Executive Committee.  Nominations should be accompanied by a photograph and a very short bio of the candidate.
  • 16th December – Ballot papers and bios will be distributed for voting of Executive Committee.  Each Body Corporate Applicant will get one ballot paper and will be able to vote for up to 8 candidates.  The ballot paper will indicate which role the candidate has indicated a preference for.
  • 21st December – Closing date for voting of Executive Committee
  • 1st or 2nd week in January.  EGM to be called, draft agenda;
    • Adoption of Constitution
    • Confirmation of Executive Members
    • Consideration of Applications for Membership
    •  Identification of Work Streams
    • AOB

The Chairperson thanked everyone for attending and the meeting then concluded.

 

Launch of Gibraltar Association for New Technologies Boosts Country’s Expanding Blockchain Ecosystem

Blockchain Focused Trade Association will act as a forum for policy makers, regulators, professional firms, and educators

Gibraltar – October 30, 2018HM Government of Gibraltar has today announced the formal launch of the Gibraltar Association for New Technologies (GANT), a trade association that will aim to drive forward Gibraltar’s innovative approach to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). The association will establish formal lines of communication between policy makers and the private sector in Gibraltar’s fast developing blockchain industry as well as facilitating the exchange of knowledge and ideas, with a view to enhancing public trust in this sector.

The Minister for Commerce, the Hon. Albert Isola MP, commented, “The Gibraltar Association for New Technologies will represent the views of the ever evolving DLT landscape here in Gibraltar and will be a vital component in the continued growth of the sector. This forum will allow the blockchain community to become more closely aligned with the traditional financial services sector here and give confidence to the firms operating in Gibraltar that we are committed to working collaboratively on regulatory and other matters of interest.”

GANT will strive to promote high standards of professional conduct within the blockchain sector in Gibraltar as well as further the reputation of the jurisdiction’s finance industry on the international stage. They will work closely with HM Government of Gibraltar, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and the University of Gibraltar to ensure the development of a strong and sustainable industry, including the delivery of educational programmes that will help advance a core understanding of the underlying technologies supporting the sector.

Applications for membership of GANT will be welcomed from firms who have received or have applied for a DLT licence in Gibraltar, as well as ICO firms, auditors, lawyers, and consultancy firms servicing these industries, full details can be found in the constitution. The association intends to build on the strong working relationships that exist between the regulator, the Financial Services Commission, and the DLT Working Group that oversaw the development of the DLT Regulatory Framework, introduced in January of this year. Members will collaborate to keep each other apprised of future policy and regulatory matters.

The Association’s Chairman designate, David Parody, said, “These are exciting times for Gibraltar. A whole new industry is taking off now that the first DLT licences have been granted by the Financial Services Commission. As an association we want to ensure that we create an effective and collaborative forum for the discussion of key issues. It’s also incumbent on us that we provide efficient gateways to policy and decision makers so that practical and effective solutions are arrived at. Similarly, we want to build the knowledge base across the entire sector, from experts to blockchain beginners, which is why educational outreach will be a key objective for the association”.

An initial meeting of GANT will be held at Thursday 29th November 2018 at 10:00 at the office of Gibraltar Finance, Suite 761 Europort, Gibraltar, during which the submission of membership application forms and committee nomination forms will be discussed. The Association’s Constitution and membership application forms can be viewed or downloaded here. Details of initial the meeting will be published in due course via social media and website channels.

Continue reading “Launch of Gibraltar Association for New Technologies Boosts Country’s Expanding Blockchain Ecosystem”

Government of Gibraltar and University of Gibraltar Announce Creation of New Technologies in Education Key Advisory Group

ntie

Gibraltar – 18 October 2018 – The Government of Gibraltar today announced the launch of a new advisory group that will focus on the creation of new technology related education courses, such as blockchain. The New Technologies in Education (NTiE) group will be a joint initiative between the Government and the University of Gibraltar in collaboration with some of the leading new technology companies based in Gibraltar. The advisory group will aim to address the growing demand for related skills as the sector continues to expand in Gibraltar.

Minister with responsibility for the University of Gibraltar, The Hon Gilbert Licudi QC MP said, “Today’s announcement is a strong indication that we are on the right path towards delivering our objective of addressing the skills requirements that will be needed to fully realise the potential of new technologies. Providing access to innovative courses with expert input from those using this technology in the private sector is a vital component in the development of a sustainable DLT commercial community in Gibraltar.”

Ms Nadine Collado, Group Chair and Director of Professional Development & Short Courses at the University of Gibraltar said, “The University is committed to developing and enhancing expertise in technologies such as blockchain, distributor ledger technology, coding and smart contracts across the education sector. We are already scheduling a variety of offerings, to include a Professional Certificate of Competence within this area”.

The courses will equip individuals with knowledge of the workings and potential applications of blockchain technology. Significant input into course material will come from companies based in Gibraltar who are in the process of becoming regulated license holders of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC). The courses offered are expected to commence later in 2018.  

The launch of the NTiE advisory group continues to build momentum for Gibraltar as a hub for new technologies, following the announcement in January 2018 that Gibraltar would be the first jurisdiction globally to introduce legislation around Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). In addition to Nadine Collado, the advisory group will include the following members: Professor Catherine Bachleda, Vice Chancellor (Ag), University of Gibraltar; Dr. Joey Britto, former Director of Education; Mr Christian Celecia, Director of Information Communications and Technology, University of Gibraltar, Dr. Darren Fa, Director of Academic Programmes and Research, University of Gibraltar; Mr David Parody, Chair of GANT; Ms Keri Scott, Senior Education Advisor; and Mr Paul Astengo, Senior Executive, Gibraltar Finance.

Minister for Education John Cortes MP, in full support of this initiative commented, “The Department of Education is very happy to be a partner in this initiative.  Improving the way we prepare our young people within the schools in digital technology in all its forms is a critical part of our plans for Education.”

Minister for Commerce, The Hon Albert Isola MP, commented, “New York University recently became the first university in the United States to offer students the chance to major in blockchain, so the evidence is strong that interest in the subject is growing. In fact, half of the top 50 universities worldwide provide courses in this technology and cryptocurrencies, but these are predominantly based in the United States. Only 27% of international universities offer any type of course and Gibraltar wants to help change that. We continuously punch above our weight when it comes to promoting new technology opportunities and so provision of higher education will be no different. For us to achieve our goal of a successful, long-term and sustainable business sector for Gibraltar, it is imperative that we educate all different levels. The creation of this advisory group is a key step in achieving this”