Isle of Man

Designated Business Registration
Crypto Exchange in the Isle of Man

Designated Business
Registration Policy
The Fit and Proper Test

Isle of Man
Designated Business Registration

A designated business is any person who undertakes the business as defined in Schedule 1 of the Act which can be found at Designated Businesses (Amendment) Order 2019.

While there is no crypto-specific regulation in the Isle of Man, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2008 was amended in 2015 to include virtual currency businesses within its regulated sector as a “Designated Business” specifically those that are 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 cryptocurrencies or similar concepts where the concept is accepted by persons as a means of payment for goods.

Further information on Designated Businesses (Amendment) Order 2019 can be found on this official IOMFSA link.

Registration Policy

The Authority’s General Registration Policy ("the Registration Policy") sets out the criteria that applicants must satisfy to be successful in the registration of their business. The Authority will not register a business where it feels that the applicant, including the persons associated with it, are not fit and proper to undertake the designated business.

The Fit and Proper Test

The fit and proper test is both an initial test at the time of registration and a continuing test in relation to the compliance with AML/CFT legislation of designated business.

It should be noted that the fit and proper test for designated businesses is much narrower than the test for the Authority’s licenceholders. Section 9 of the Act states that when assessing the fitness and propriety of an applicant the Authority would take into consideration whether the applicant:

  • has been convicted of an offence:
    • under AML/CFT legislation;
      • under the law of a country or territory outside the Island if the conduct giving rise to the offence would constitute an offence under sub-paragraph (i) if it had occurred in the Island;
      • involving dishonesty (whether under the law of the Island or elsewhere);
    • under a relevant Act; or
      • of perjury or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice (whether under the law of the Island or elsewhere);
  • is or has been the subject of any action with respect to any breach of a relevant Act (as defined) or AML/CFT legislation;
  • has knowingly or recklessly provided misleading or false information in the application for registration; or
  • is otherwise considered by the Authority not to be fit and proper for reasons related to the risk of money laundering or the financing of terrorism.
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