Lyle Wraxall is the CEO of the Digital Isle of Man, a company that is working to improve the digital sector in the Isle of Man, also thanks to the local competitive e-Gaming industry. To do so, Digital Isle of Man is working with the government, private industry and key associations to create the right environment for the digital sector so as to become a leading global player.
Recently, they are also trying to make the country a blockchain hub. The Cryptonomist talked with Wraxall to better understand what the Isle of Man is doing to increase its relevance in the blockchain sector as well.
When and why could the Isle of Man become the global centre of blockchain based finance?
The Isle of Man is aiming to become a global centre of blockchain, not just finance-based blockchain. It already has all the components required in place to support blockchain businesses across all sectors in order to grow, develop and succeed. We are not trying to carve out niches in finance, fintech and cryptocurrencies but blockchain enterprises in the broadest sense possible.
In your opinion, what features are required to make the Isle of Man an increasingly important blockchain hub?
The Isle of Man is an important blockchain hub because of the attractive, all-round proposition it offers. Not only is the island a supportive place to do business, committed to helping grow successful blockchain businesses, but we also offer the advice and steering capacity to accelerate businesses through whichever route they want to take; whether that is through regulation or not. We aim to help businesses meet their goals as quickly as possible. This is unique when looking at other jurisdictions in the blockchain space. We aren’t looking to bring hundreds of businesses here, instead, we are looking to bring a specific selection of businesses here that we know we can support, work and collaborate with.
According to you, is it really necessary to create new laws to regulate cryptocurrencies?
Whilst we are welcoming cryptocurrency businesses, we plan to embrace all blockchain-related business and as a result, we are taking a broad approach to regulation. We believe now is the right time to do this; there are lots of interesting new ideas and we’ve had sufficient time to learn from past challenges and better understand where Blockchain technology does and doesn’t work. We are now well placed to choose the right type of business and learn from real-world successes and experiences to create the right regulatory environment for businesses to succeed. It’s not about choosing one business over another, what we want is to work with varied businesses, alongside the regulators, to create the best and most effective regulation we possibly can. Being an agile and fast-moving government, we can do this by learning from what’s working and not working globally and then being able to nuance this and provide the best solutions.
What are the next steps for the Island to increase its relevance in the blockchain world?
The next steps for the Island in the blockchain environment involve travelling and working with global blockchain industries. We hope to cherry-pick and implement agnostic regulations and platforms that are informed and refined by looking at what others have done, mistakes they’ve made and choosing the best of the class.
Doing this also minimises business-related risks and that’s what businesses crave. They want to work in a low-risk environment where they can be confident that their businesses will succeed and not be subject to threats caused by new and unproven regulatory ideas.
What are your personal goals and plans for the future of Digital Isle of Man?
My vision for the Isle of Man is to become an island of technical innovation. This means working with businesses on the island in order to grow, be resilient and successful. As an island, we want to continue to be a high-reputation jurisdiction, bringing in new opportunities.
Once the blockchain office is a self-sustained entity, we’ll move on to other opportunities and initiatives that we have already started working on behind the scenes, in different technology sectors on the island. All of this will help the current digital ecosystem grow and thrive. I like to look at the digital economy in a holistic fashion and what I’m looking for, is a vibrant, energetic and cutting edge place to run businesses whilst also providing a fun and energetic place to live and work.