While almost every country is mulling to introduce strict measures in form of cryptocurrency regulations, Bermuda – the self-governing British overseas territory island nation – seems to be taking a completely different stand.
Bermuda is recently is currently working on digital currency regulations and the proposed bill looks like the country is taking absolutely crypto-friendly steps which will help to boost and foster the fintech growth in the region by luring more businesses to establish its operation in this country.
Bermuda’s regulatory body – The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) – is seeking the opinion of local residents in formulating the anti-money laundering laws with an aims to properly organize its crypto industry. In the recently released consultation paper last Thursday, the BMA said that it is also looking to encapsulate a wide range of crypto-related activities under this bill to attract more players in the crypto space.
According to one of the latest reports by The Royal Gazette, Wayne Caines – the minister of National Security described the existing regulation to be a “landmark decision for Bermuda”. He further added: “The emergence of new financial products and services created through the use of technology has opened new and exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.”
Last Thursday, while presenting “Bermuda’s fintech strategy” to a group of the country’s key business partners, Mr. Caines talked about Bermuda’s ambition to become a global leader in the fintech space and said that the government “recognize[s] that there’s significant interest in virtual currencies and blockchain technology.”
However, in addition to promoting the growth for blockchain and cryptocurrencies, the proposed bill also seeks to maintain a layer of security ensuring that other vested activities don’t get promoted simultaneously.
The regulation will require all the exchanges and other fintech firms of crypto-wallet services to properly conduct the know-your-customer (KYC) operations. This is necessary to combat other illicit activities with crypto use which are currently on the rise. Additionally, the fintech and blockchain firms will need to get a license of credibility from the regulatory agency before starting with their operations.
In another related development, the government is also looking forward to creating a conducive environment for ICO organizers in the country. In its proposed bill, Mr. Caines says that the government wants to treat ICOs as a “restricted business activity that requires approval from the Minister of Finance.”
Differing with many other nations, Bermuda looks at the ICO-based fundraising activity to be a potential tool to foster national growth, under proper regulatory laws. Mr. Caines stated, “By being one of the few countries in the world to specifically regulate ICOs, we believe that the proposed regulatory framework will provide legal certainty to companies looking to conduct ICOs in Bermuda.”
He further added: “[…] Embracing this new world with responsible regulation could lead to the attraction of new companies and capital investment to Bermuda, additional government revenues, new career, employment and training opportunities for Bermudians and the laying of a foundation for a prosperous future for our next generation of Bermudians.”