Hi all, welcome to another GTS update! We have had a really busy few weeks and have lots to share with you!
We are now licensed for our cryptocurrency activity which will run from Lithuania. The management of the cryptocurrency activity will be from the UK. The licences that we have obtained are Cryptocurrency Exchange Operator and Depositary Cryptocurrency Wallet Operator.
As you will be aware, we have previously tried to gain regulation within the Cayman islands, Dubai and of course the UK, however, the nature of cryptocurrency and in particular, the innovative side to our tokens generating rewards has been problematic. In many aspects, all of these regulators are not prepared for those crypto projects that don’t quite tick the boxes but that have innovation. The UK for example is struggling with how to regulate crypto and we are a long way off before we see substantial progress. It’s a great opportunity for the UK to get regulation right and draw high standard crypto businesses to our shores. There is logic to not being the ‘first mover’ for regulation; let other countries build their frameworks, see what works and then take the best ideas to generate your own. The downside for the UK is if the others get it right before you, you lose business to them. As a project all we can do is remain up to date and willing to comply wherever gives us the best options to be successful.
Lithuania was brought to our attention, in particular the two licences mentioned above. It seems an unusual choice to some, however since 2020 Lithuania has been included in the top of the most friendly countries for cryptocurrency. Consequently, it has become a European centre for Fintech business in which Binance (the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange) are based.
It is great that we have this! As Lithuania falls into Europe, we will also fall into the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA) brackets and therefore in the upcoming few years will be subject to ensuring that we apply and that all our business activity is in line with this. As a team, we are up-to-date with everything that has been produced regarding guidelines for MiCA and attend regular webinars and panels that discuss this. Once we are able to apply we will have everything in place for a seamless application and therefore will have further regulation, thus strengthening us as a company.
Institutions are extremely pro-regulation and it is seen as something that is a must-have before bringing any on board. We are ensuring that we are doing everything we can on our end to give institutions what they need from a crypto company.
We also have a Certik audit which is extremely beneficial. I am currently in talks with Certik to see if we need to produce a new audit with the switch to XRPL - this seems likely - and the team will ensure that the audit is repeated where required. The team last week had a masterclass with Certik on Due Diligence which was fantastic and re-assured us that we are doing everything we can as a company in this area.
In regards to our stance within the UK, I am currently in talks with the crypto and digital assets APPG (I have a meeting with them this week) as well as the chair DR Lisa Cameron MP in order to help inform policymakers and input advice where needed. The team are also part of the CryptoUK regulatory working group that meets to discuss ways forward for the UK regulatory stance and informs parliament.
We are extremely rare within the industry, there are very few crypto businesses that are willing to get licences/regulations and there are even fewer that are actively getting involved with helping inform this. The majority who have received regulation are very large centralised exchanges, not projects of our size. At GTS we pride ourselves on being pro-active within the ever-changing industry and wish to involve ourselves as much as we can in important discussions and decisions surrounding cryptocurrency. My view is that we are paving the way within crypto for good, and therefore we should pave the way in all other aspects of the industry.
We’re very happy with how the build is progressing.
Elements that are now essentially complete prior to full testing:
Work is currently underway on the two way XRP to XRPL-SVS swap function. Once that is complete we move on to the Fiat on ramp functionality.
Actions for our community:
The initial live version of the platform after launch will be very similar to what users have been used to with the addition of a two way swap and fiat on ramp. Our intention is to allow some time for users to familiarise themselves with XRPL and the new staking, plus get everyone switched over to XRPL SVS prior to adding anything additional that complicates things such as Instant Aid.
Last week, our COO, GM and I headed to Lisbon to attend the Web Summit. Named ‘the world’s premier tech conference’ the summit was huge with expert speakers from all over the globe sharing their knowledge.
There were discussions around regulation, raising funding during a ‘Crypto Winter’, sustainability and so much more. We even heard from the likes of CZ at Binance and had a fantastic masterclass from Certik on due diligence.
Not only did we learn lots by submerging ourselves amongst fellow industry professionals we also had a great deal of engagement on our Twitter account which put us joint 3rd below the First Lady of Ukraine and the Web Summit itself. Thanks to the community for getting involved on our tweets - we are being seen!
There have been a few questions from the community as to when we will be getting on stage at these events. This is in the plan and I would love to see this in 2023. As you can imagine becoming a speaker doesn’t happen overnight, you need to build up a great name for yourself within the industry, often you need to be invited and equally, it cannot just be for the self-promotion of a project but needs to be on a specific key-note topic or panel. By attending these events, I am networking with the right people and I am working hard behind the scenes to ensure there is an increase in journalists wanting to talk to me in which I am building traction in the right direction. Rest assured when the time is right to be able to speak or be part of a panel at an event, the whole GTS team will make sure this happens.
In other news, I have been made a finalist in the Women In IT Awards 2023 in the Social Impact Project Of The Year category. This prestigious ceremony sees just 4 other finalists in the category so we have a great shot! I am looking forward to February when I will attend the awards in London!
Awards such as these are a great way for us to showcase what we do to a large audience and to the press and I will ensure we maximise the opportunity ahead of the ceremony and on the night!
CEO, Giving To Services