10 reasons to locate a crypto exchange in the Isle of Man

05 January 2021

by Tony Jones, Regulatory Manager, Digital Isle of Man


Are you looking for a stable, safe and secure jurisdiction from which to operate a cryptocurrency exchange? The Isle of Man can provide your exchange with the regulatory certainty required to operate and compelling financial reasons to base your business here.


1. Regulatory certainty for cryptocurrencies

With the Financial Services Authority’s guidance on how cryptoassets are classified you can quickly gain regulatory certainty on whether your coin/token will be considered a security, an investment, a utility token, e-money or something else. Chart 1 and Chart 2 may assist in determining the nature of the token in question for many common token types but if you have questions on where your digital asset may fit in please do contact us!


2. Timely Legislation

The FSA has built a reputation for the timely introduction of new legislation and regulation, ahead of the curve but in a manner as to not stifle innovation. For example digital assets were brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act in April 2015 and the Designated Business (Oversight and Registration) Act in October 2015. This helped the sector by allowing companies to demonstrate oversight with regards to Anti Money Laundering procedures by a respected regulator whilst not being restricted by a regulatory framework whilst the sector is still developing. This in turn helps exchanges with B2B relationships such as those with investors, PSP’s and banks by demonstrating MLRO’s are in place along with effective on-boarding and monitoring principles.

Further guidance from the FSA on Token / Cryptoasset Activity and Regulation can be found here.


3. Access to a sandbox environment

Need a sandbox environment to test and shape new products? The Isle of Man can help with guidance and conditional licensing to help shape your exchange into a compliant product ready for the mass market.


4. The Digital Isle of Man Accelerator Programme

An accelerator programme with three levels of membership that provides help for companies at all stages of development. From start-ups desiring increased visibility to multi-nationals looking for a stable jurisdiction they can partner with to help shape future regulations the Accelerator Programme is there to help with whatever is required to accelerate growth and remove obstacles.


5. Ability to join our regulatory roundtable

Does your exchange need regulations that don’t exist yet? For top level Partners of the Accelerator Programme, the Regulatory Roundtable is a public/private partnership designed to give the participants the ability to, request and help shape future regulations that exchanges and businesses in the wider blockchain & crypto sector may require to accelerate to the next level.


6. Access to an ecosystem of expert services

The Isle of Man has an existing ecosystem of service providers with award winning experience and knowledge of the blockchain sector.

Knowledgeable legal and professional experts are available providing advisory, consultancy and corporate services, whilst a network of individuals from a variety of blockchain related sectors can be met at regular blockchain showcases and meet-ups.

Co-working spaces servicing the blockchain sector in the Isle of Man provide a great environment for networking with your peers.


7. A supportive government that's pro-blockchain

The Isle of Man Government is strongly supportive of the blockchain sector and FinTech meaning your exchange is welcome to locate on the Island and take advantage of the support offered. From Financial Assistance for setting up offices to the Employee Relocation Incentive the Government is here to help you attain your goals. An account manager will be assigned to you giving you a direct and personal route into the Department for Enterprise to provide any assistance you need.


8. Financial reasons

0% Corporate Tax, No Capital Gains Tax, No Inheritance Tax, Key Employee Concession and grants for a variety of costs such as office equipment, rent, marketing, training and others make compelling financial reasons to base your business in the Isle of Man. Low personal Income Tax rates ensure the Isle of Man is also financially attractive to staff lucky enough to be based here.


9. Safety, security, stability

The Isle of Man provides a safe, secure and stable environment for exchanges to prosper and flourish. The lowest crime rate in the British Isles means your staff can feel safe and the longest continually running parliamentary body on Earth (1100 years!) backing the blockchain sector provides the stability and security your exchange needs to feel safe.

Carrier class telecoms infrastructure that has provided for the requirements of the largest online gambling businesses over the last decade or two will ensure your exchange keeps running no matter what.


10. An excellent quality of life

Believe me, your staff will love life on the Isle of Man. A beautiful, safe, family friendly place to live with great community spirit in the 85,000 population, great infrastructure and plenty of open space, sport, culture, history and nature. The Isle of Man is the only entire Island jurisdiction to be granted UNESCO Biosphere status and the natural landscape is breath-taking.


Ready to take the next step? Contact us now to find out more about locating your crypto exchange in the Isle of Man.