The Isle of Man has announced the formation of a Blockchain Office and the Isle of Man Sandbox, according to a report from FinTech news agency FStech. The move was made in part with help from the Digital Isle of Man in hopes of making the self-governing British dependency an "international hub for blockchain businesses."
The Digital Isle of Man is an executive agency for the country's governmental department for enterprise, working to "[establish] the Isle of Man as a centre of international excellence for the digital economy."
As the agency looks to build an infrastructure for blockchain development in the country, the Blockchain Office will act as a dialogue facilitator between businesses and regulators. As the FStech report states, the Blockchain Office will "help platforms design and future-proof their concepts in accordance with relevant legislation and regulation. It will also provide expertise, guidance and marketing support, as well as facilitate and encourage collaboration between companies."
In a plan that is part consultancy and part developmental, the Isle of Man Sandbox will offer working space to firms and startups to develop and test their blockchain platforms within the country. According to the report, those looking to be a part of the Isle of Man Sandbox can begin the application process in March 2019, with the space becoming fully functional in early spring. Early participants will not be charged registration fees in order to use the facility.
Lyle Wraxall, the chief executive of Digital Isle of Man, hopes that the two new initiatives will "attract premium blockchain businesses and the world's top exchanges to the Island." The move could prove to create a new hub for blockchain-related companies, especially when coupled with the island's zero percent corporate income tax and capital gain tax exemptions.
Most recently, in June 2018, the Digital Isle of Man became a member of the British Blockchain Association (BBA). The BBA is a non-profit organization that works to promote the education and adoption of blockchain technology.