The Financial Services Commission has announced that an Asian exchange focusing on digital securities has been admitted to the territory’s list of recognised exchanges.

It’s the latest move in an increased push to allow Virgin Islands-registered companies to issue and exchange digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and to encourage more innovation in financial technology.

Fusang Exchange will join other global exchanges recognised in the territory, such as the London Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Fusang CEO Henry Chong said the addition of the exchange to the VI is “a step towards our vision of democratising the way global investors access digital securities. For the first time, BVI-registered companies can now benefit from tokenising the shares in their companies and listing digitally on a fully regulated and supervised exchange.”

Fusang offers companies that want to issue digital securities “end-to-end digital asset tokenisation and listing services, be it for its main board or private markets, from the point of company incorporation to the management of register of shareholders,” according to a press release from BVI Finance.

The release added that companies listed on Fusang will benefit from being regulated by the FSC, including from a pre-screening process for anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism measures.

Companies exchanging digital securities also will be able to take advantage of the FSC’s “safe harbour” clauses, which protect their forward-looking statements from liability for events beyond their control, providing they make the statements in good faith, according to BVI Finance.

This in turn should allow them to get products to market faster, the release stated.

IPO announced

Fusang Exchange recently announced its own initial public offering on its exchange, and said that it expects that the admission to the recognised list of exchanges in the VI will be a “game changer” for VI-registered companies in Asia, as digital assets become more and more acceptable in the region.

BVI Finance CEO Elise Donovan said the recognition of Fusang will provide for “a much-needed bridge for Asian companies looking to tap into benefits of digitalisation and the pool of liquidity available globally for digital assets via the BVI’s long-established capital markets industry.”

Sandbox regime

The move is the latest in a series designed to facilitate innovation in the digital currency realm. In 2020, the FSC announced new guidance on the regulation of virtual assets in the territory. Furthermore, the “regulatory sandbox” adopted that same year aims to enable companies to test out new models for fintech businesses within a supervisory framework.

The addition of Fusang to the list of recognised exchanges is a step toward the VI providing a more comprehensive ecosystem for digital assets, Mr. Chong said.

“Fusang’s aim of democratising investments by tokenising a wide range of asset classes depends on facilitative regulators like the BVI FSC, who are willing to embrace digital transformation,” he said. “Fusang intends to work closely with BVI-related intermediaries and advisers towards offering benefits of digitalisation to all BVI-registered companies.”