The Isle of Man has become the first online gambling jurisdiction to adopt changes to its regulation that will permit the use of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies for online gambling.
In the same week that Bitcoin’s shadowy creator, known as Satoshi Nakamoto, was confirmed to be an Australian entrepreneur named Craig Wright, the island’s Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) and Treasury approved changes to laws that will allow digital currencies to be accepted as cash deposits for online gambling sites.
The island will also permit the licensing of online gambling companies for the purposes of dealing in digital currencies.
Under the terms of the new regulations, digital currencies are defined not as currencies, but as “property.” The GSC has proposed that wherever the phrase “a deposit of money” occurs within its gambling legislation, this should be changed to “a deposit of money or the deposit of something which has a value in money or money’s worth.”
The GSC said that operators will be subject to regulatory safeguards on the protection of value and the security of the way value is stored. Operators’ currency exchanges will also have reporting requirements to a credible financial intelligence unit.
The Isle of Man’s acceptance of Bitcoin-friendly businesses has earned it the nickname “Bitcoin Island” over the last couple of years. As early as 2014, authorities began building a regulatory framework that would allow not just gaming companies, but any company that wished to operate within a compliant, Bitcoin-friendly environment to set up shop within its purview.
Isle of Wright
Regulatory developments on the Isle of Man are likely to be closely watched by the aforementioned Mr. Wright, who created Bitcoin digital currency in 2009. Many saw the crypto-monetary method as subversive to the long arm of the law, as it initially, at least, was able to bypass financial regulators and institutions.
Those days, however, seem to have come to an end.
Wright was first named as a possible fit for Nakamoto late last year, when transcripts of interviews between the Aussie and the Australian tax authorities were leaked to tech news outlets Gizmodo and Wired. The transcripts appeared to record him admitting to his involvement in the creation of Bitcoin.
Wright went public this week in a prickly interview with the BBC, in which he provided cryptographic keys linked to the same blocks of Bitcoin that Nakamoto had used to make the first-ever transaction in 2009. He also emphasized that this was the only interview he would ever give to the media.
“There are lots of stories out there that have been made up and I don’t like it hurting those people I care about,” he said of his motivation to finally unmask himself. “I don’t want any of them to be impacted by this.
“I really do not want to be the public face of anything,” he added. “I would rather not do it. I want to work, I want to keep doing what I want to do. I don’t want money. I don’t want fame. I don’t want adoration. I just want to be left alone.”
From this, we gather he has no dreams of ever being the equivalent of a George Washington face as a Bitcoin symbol.