Bitcoin Review: Isle of Man Bitcoin Conference Day One

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Crypto Valley Summit, a two-day conference aimed at launching the Isle of Man as a prime location for bitcoin businesses, kicked off today in the wake of news that threatened to undermine its central goal. Just one day before the conference of more than 200 attendees began, a firm providing banking facilities to bitcoin businesses on the island announced it would close those accounts under pressure from its partner banks.

Still, the event was opened resiliently by the Isle of Man’s Lieutenant Governor, Adam Wood, who extolled the island’s ability to take advantage of a rising interest in digital currencies.

Wood said: “The rapid development of digital currencies is leaving legislators and regulators playing catch-up. This is where the Isle of Man’s small size works to its advantage. It’s agile and we can make an appropriate response in record time.”

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A panel on banking garnered the most attention, as R Paul Davis, the most visible digital currency proponent on the island, decried the banks’ decision to cut ties with domestic bitcoin businesses. Davis addressed the crowd and this most recent news head on, saying: “HSBC closed CTS’ corporate accounts because it objected to bitcoin transactions flowing through it.”

Davis went on to state that banks like Barclays were invited to speak at the event, but demurred following “national discussions”. Davis also announced that a merchant services firm based in the US called Instabill would pick up the slack from CTS’ account closures.

He added: “[Instabill] would be able to fairly quickly replace everything CTS is offering with the exception of UK Faster Payments. I have warned [Instabill’s CEO] that his only real danger is being killed in the rush.”

Bitcoin Financial News

Davis also offered his predictions on which banks would recognise the opportunity in digital currencies, and which would fall behind, asserting that Spanish megabank Santander would be first to capitalise on cryptocurrency given its exposure to Latin American markets where remittances and online payments are in demand.

He said banks like HSBC and Barclays, which have faced recent sanctions from regulators, would be last.

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