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‘The Challenges of Digital Technology’ was the theme for this year’s European Commerce Registers Forum which was held at the University of Gibraltar during the first week in June. The 21st conference of its kind, it gathered 130 delegates from all over the world, from countries as far afield as Singapore, USA, Malaysia and New Zealand.

In her welcome and introduction to the event, Professor Daniella Tilbury, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of The University of Gibraltar, highlighted Gibraltar’s forward-thinking stance and embracing of new technologies and the opportunities brought about by the application of these to the world of financial services.

Mr. Vito Giannella, the ECRF President, opened the morning session, highlighting the phenomenon that he termed “the digital revolution”. He referred to the shared history and challenges faced by all registrars as a result of the explosion of advances in technology, but he also welcomed those challenges.

From Gibraltar, Nick Cowan, the CEO of the GSX Group which operates the Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) and the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange (GBX), was invited to speak at the event in the session entitled ‘Cryptocurrencies, ITOs, ICOs.’ He presented a “snapshot of the power and potential of blockchain technology as an evolutionary technical step forward”, alluding to the excitement he witnesses at the accessibility and speed in which startups can access unprecedented levels of funding. Importantly, he affirmed that Gibraltar is very clearly at the forefront of these advances, having established a leading regulatory framework, embraced the culture of fintech at governmental, regulatory and private sector levels, and thereby had effectively created a fintech hub. This was echoed by Mr. Russell Perry, CEO of 360 Kompany from Austria, who in his presentation noted: “Gibraltar is at the forefront of the crypto economies.”

Also representing Gibraltar’s interests at the Conference was Mr. Stephen Reyes, Managing Partner at Deloitte Gibraltar; Jonathan Garcia, partner at ISOLAS LLP in the DLT/Fintech & Financial Services Team; Sian Jones, Senior Adviser on DLT – Gibraltar Financial Services Commission; and Anthony Provasoli, partner in Hassans’ corporate and commercial department, co-leading the firm’s FinTech team.