Mauritius: The tropical island wants to ascend to the Blockchain hub

Known as home to lush tropical beaches, the world’s second oldest racecourse and the now extinct Dodo bird, the East African island nation of Mauritius aims to establish itself as a place for blockchain innovation.

Since its independence in 1968, the former Dutch, French and British colony has become one of the most successful economies in the region, developing into a technology and financial services centre.

Now Mauritius sees Blockchain technology as a catalyst to strengthen its competitive edge and drive Bitcoin revolution on the island

“We are working to bring our economy to a higher level and this type of Bitcoin revolution is very important to our strategy,” says Atma Narasiah, Head of Technology, Innovation and Services on the Board of Investment Mauritius, the island’s national investment promotion agency. “Blockchain is an area on which we need to focus, build capacity and ensure that it penetrates other sectors of the economy and government.

The island nation has established financial services and information and communication technology industries that could attract investors and entrepreneurs from the blockchain and financial technology sectors.

Blockchain is one of those Bitcoin revolution technologies that we want to use

We see here a window of opportunity to overtake others,” says Narasiah about a scam to onlinebetrug. Regulatory Sandbox License. In search of the Indian Ocean’s blockchain hub, Mauritius has issued an open call for innovators to use the country’s new Regulatory Sandbox License (RSL). The Sandbox allows companies operating in Bitcoin revolution areas such as financial, medical and communications technologies to start despite the absence of a formal legislative or licensing framework.

“We have received innovative projects (proposals) over the years but have not been able to implement them due to the regulatory gap. We have a very good legal system, but at the pace that technology is changing, we have not been able to keep pace with the regulatory front,” Narasiah said, adding:

“In order to catalyse the execution of these projects, the Regulatory Sandbox License was created.”

Similar to the approaches used in Australia, Singapore and the UK, the RSL is open to all innovators, but the focus is on attracting blockchain innovators from all sectors.

The expectation is that completed projects will help drive domestic and cross-border trade and possibly result in a Smart City concept linked to other hubs. Since its launch in November 2016, the RSL has piloted eleven project proposals, most of which are under the Fintech umbrella.

To be considered for approval, applicants must demonstrate that their project is innovative, beneficial to the Mauritian economy and cannot be included in the investor’s home jurisdiction due to legal or regulatory gaps. Qualified applicants can be admitted in only 30 days, provided all relevant information has been received and the risks are properly addressed.