Cryptocurrency License in the Isle of Man
Set up Cryptocurrency Company in I.O.M.
To legally carry out your
Cryptocurrency Exchange & Trade
Registration in the I.O.M.
Designated Business Registration
- Estonia Cryptocurrency
Exchange & ICO
- Isle of Man Cryptocurrency
Exchange & Trade
- New Zealand
Cryptocurrency Trade and
Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
- Cyprus Brokerage Services
Forex Trading License
- Labuan Money Broker License (Forex)
- Mauritius Investment Dealer
& Broker License
Securities Dealers License,
- Vanuatu Securities Dealers
Licenses - Forex
A Location for E-Money and Payment Institutions
Ireland EMI License
An EU Location for E-Money and Payment Institutions
- Mauritius Investment Dealer
- New Zealand FSP
Financial Services Providers
- BVI Hedge Funds
- UK PFLP
Private Fund Limited Partnerships
- Luxembourg - Private Asset
Management Company (SPF)
- Luxembourg SOPARFI Holding &
Institutions (EMI - PSP)
By the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission
Great enthusiasm for Crypto-currencies
Has been quick to respond to interest in this area
Bringing credibility - something the industry needs
Background to the Designated Business Act 2015
The Isle of Man is showing great enthusiasm for crypto-currencies, everyone is talking about digital currency and the potentially huge benefits to the Island. The Isle of Man Government has thrown its arms wide open, even suggesting that residents may soon be able to pay their taxes in Bitcoin.
The Isle of Man government has amended the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008, so it covers Bitcoin companies, such as exchanges, operating from the island.
Amendments to the act have been approved and state the following businesses will have to adhere to AML requirements:
Those in the business of issuing, transmitting, transferring, providing safe custody or storage of, administering, managing, lending, buying, selling, exchanging or otherwise trading or intermediating convertible virtual currencies, including crypto-currencies or similar concepts where the concept is accepted by persons as a means of payment for goods or services, a unit of account, a store of value or a commodity.
These companies will have to report to the authorities if they suspect a person using their business is engaged in money laundering. They will also have to assist in identifying the person they believe is involved.;
This means crypto-currency businesses will have to adopt certain know-your-customer (KYC) practices, collecting ID information so this can be passed on to the authorities if they suspect money-laundering activity.
The Designated Businesses (Registration and Oversight) Act 2015 (“the Act”) was passed in order to address these comments and came into force on 26 October 2015.
The Act does not make persons affected by its provisions license holders of the Authority. The Authority’s role in licensing and supervising Financial Institutions is distinct and entirely separate from its role under this Act.
Designated businesses are registered and overseen by the Authority for AML/CFT compliance only – they retain their current status with the various bodies (if any) responsible for their wider business, competence or other matters, such as the Isle of Man Law Society, the ICAEW, ACCA, CIMA, the Office of Fair Trading etc.
The Isle of Man has been recognised internationally as a jurisdiction with a robust and effective regulatory environment. A cornerstone of this environment is the knowledge and experience of those individuals working within the financial services sector. The primary responsibility for ensuring that a business is staffed and supported by competent individuals’ rests with that business.
Individuals undertaking certain key roles for license holders are already required to demonstrate to the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) that they have the necessary competence to undertake that role as part of the Authority’s “Fit and Proper” person criteria. The Authority’s Licensing Policy for Regulated Activities under the Financial Services Act 2008 (“licensing policy”) gives guidance on the “fit and proper” test, which is both an initial requirement applying to license applicants and a continuing obligation on license holders.
The Training and Competence Framework sets out the Authority’s detailed expectations of its license applicants, license holders and their staff in relation to ongoing training and competence and should be read in conjunction with the competence requirements in the licensing policy referred to above.
It is also a yearly requirement that all employees receive Anti Money Laundering Training; Atrium Legal Lab can take care and be in charge of all required training via Skype or equivalent.
IOMFSA Changes – 5th October 2018
Historically the Isle of Man has always been very proactive in promoting fintech and crypto-currency but we believe after reading through this document this is no longer the case.
From an AML/CFT perspective the Isle of Man Government and regulator are very keen to ensure that their reputation is maintained to the highest levels.
Ensuring that local Directors are appointed and that the Management and Control is in the Isle of Man, IOMFSA is placing the emphasise on the local Directors to ensure that the companies fully comply with local legislation.
Major Changes set in force in October 2018
At least two local IOM Resident Directors must be appointed;
A physical presence is now required; we believe that this will require a real office with real people. ATRIUM LEGAL LAB can of course provide office space for which we can discuss a fee in due course, depending on office space, while the client would either need to employ local staff or relocate to the Isle of Man.
ATRIUM LEGAL LAB shall be pleased to provide you 2 qualified nominee Resident Directors, at the same time we shall assist you to rent local premises or, alternatively, we would arrange to provide your office with discounted fees in this regard.
The client may also, and will be, appointed alongside ATRIUM LEGAL LAB Isle of Man Professional Directors but we need to ensure that the majority was based locally on the Isle of Man.
Clients will obviously be the company shareholders, although they would as currently still need to be vetted by the Regulator.
For full access to IOMFSA report on these last changes to the Designated Businesses Registration Policy, please visit the IOMFSA official website at:
(https://www.iomfsa.im/media/1424/dnfbpregistrationpolicy.pdf) where you will have access to the next subsequent policy amendments:
Exemptions from the Registration Requirements
Application of the Registration Policy
The Registration Process and Review of Decisions
Refusal to Register
The Designated Businesses “Fit and Proper” Criteria
Structure and Organisation of the Applicant
Persons responsible for management and control
Once received the application will be processed in accordance with the Authority’s Licensing Procedure.
The Authority’s current published service standard for processing an application, from receipt of the application form to a hearing by the Board, is 3 months. This standard applies to an application with which there are no major difficulties concerning the applicant or people connected with the applicant.
An application may take considerably longer than 3 months to process if it is incomplete or if there are issues in relation to the applicant or any of its key persons that require further investigation before a recommendation can be made to the Board of the Authority. To ensure your application is processed as quickly as possible, it is important that you arrange for all the necessary forms and documentation to be completed as accurately as possible and submitted in a timely manner.
During the processing of your application, two-way communication with the Authorisations Division is essential. This dialogue will allow the Authorisations Division to gain a better understanding of the business, which may also speed up the application process.
Our lawyers and financial services specialists at ATRIUM LEGAL LAB provide solutions to clients by combining the traditional legal fabric with new technologies.
If you would like more information as to how setting up of an ICO, a cryptocurrency exchange, getting a cryptocurrency license, set up a cryptocurrency company, or alternatively would like to set up a Crypto Fund in Isle of Man, we welcome you to get in touch with our specialists.
You would like to discuss with us
You can either call or email us.
One of our Customer Representatives will be most pleased to help and assist you
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