A new online campaign “Bitcoin Isle” from Bit.coin.je aims to turn the whole island of Jersey into a cryptocurrency hub as previously reported by Cointelegraph. Today, that dream is inching closer to reality as the Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund (“GABI”) has just received approval from the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC) and will launch on August 1, 2014. 

On July 9, Global Advisors Jersey Limited (GAJL) announced that it has received regulatory approval for this new Bitcoin Investment fund.  Daniel Masters, Director of GAJL stated in the official press-release:

“Jersey, rightly prides itself on being among the top tier of jurisdictions when it comes to compliance and has proven many times that innovation in new financial products and the highest regulatory standards are not mutually exclusive. This is why we have chosen to domicile the Global Advisors Bitcoin Investment Fund in Jersey, to bring together the benefits of a secure environment with an exciting new technology.”

The GABI will operate within the Collective Investment Funds (Jersey) Law 1998 as an Expert Fund.

Revolutionary Plan

The revolutionary plan of a “Bitcoin Isle” includes multiple steps of digital currency adoption, so that not only shops and restaurants in Jersey could accept BTC but citizens would have an opportunity to also buy bus tickets and newspapers using cryptocurrency.

Jersey is a small self-governing island with its own financial and legal systems in the English Channel. You may say that Jersey is an island in Europe that is independent and financially free. Moreover, today it is known for as a financial hub and the IT infrastructure and e-commerce industry are developing here fast. That is why Jersey is in a prime position to become a Bitcoin Isle and the center of digital currency.

The “Bitcoin Isle” plan is ambitious in that it would allow businesses to pay workers on the island in digital currency too. "[This] is a sector that could hold significant opportunities for Jersey,” said Jersey Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf to BBC News Jersey. "Our infrastructure of world-class financial services and digital expertise gives us the tools to be an early leader in the field. Innovation will be central to Jersey's future prosperity.”

At the moment, a lot of local businesses accept digital currency on the island, like The Forum Bar, Tiffin tearoom, El Toro Health & Fitness, and many others. They admit that using the Bitcoin payment method is fast and secure, and of course, requires no charges from banks.

According to the official statement from the Jersey website, any business or individual dealing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will need to consider the income tax and GST implications:

  • The profits and losses of a business entering into transactions involving cryptocurrencies would be reflected in the accounts and would be taxable under normal Jersey income tax provisions relating to foreign exchange.
  • With regard to GST, the value of the supply of goods or services on which GST is due will be the sterling value of the cryptocurrency at the point the transaction takes place.

Bitcoin Isle becoming a reality

The Co-Founder of the project Robbie Andrews is working hard to promote the project. He believes that Bitcoin is the future of Jersey and the whole world:

"In the same way email changed how we send files globally, Bitcoin will change how we transact our lives. It is a network you can use for payment that is global and not managed by one industry body."

Previously The Channel Islands Information Security Forum CIISF was studying how Jersey and Guernsey could benefit, and now they are working on a paper outlining the potential for Cryptocurrencies in the Channel Islands. IISF Chairman, Matt Palmer said:

 “Cryptocurrencies are much misunderstood but have the potential to revolutionise the financial system. That may be good news or bad, but a ‘wait and see’ strategy is not an option. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin could well underpin the future of offshore finance centres.”

Daniel Masters concluded:

 “We look forward to working with our service providers and colleagues who will be supporting GABI and helping Digital Jersey to cement Jersey’s fast growing reputation in the digital currency space,” commented Daniel Masters.”

Watch the full GABI presentation video here.

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