In recent development, the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Act was passed in Bermuda’s House of Assembly on April 27, 2018. The new act aims at developing a new regulatory framework for ICOs and take advantage of considerable interest investors have in Bermuda’s crypto community.
David Burt, Bermuda’s premier and minister of finance and a member of the Progressive Labour Party, said, “With this Bill, this government has chosen to be bold and take a significant step in the world stage. He hopes that the legislation will assist in building a FinTech industry and economy on the island. The government wants to bring, “better career opportunities and more income to Bermudians.”
Meanwhile, Wayne Caines, the minister of national security is positive about the new legislation. He said, “The reason the world is becoming so energised about being in Bermuda is not blockchain. They are excited because we do things to a very high standard.”
On the other hand, shadow minister of economic development and a member of political party One Bermuda Alliance, Grant Gibbons, opposed the bill due to lack of details and an improper economic impact assessment. He stated about speculative and ultra-volatile nature of ICOs and its impact on Bermuda’s reputation as he said that “a lot of regulators have taken a pretty strong approach to this.”
Amidst the resistance Burt was bullish about the FinTech act ad said that this bill was the “first step of a number to come.” Likewise, Burt announced about the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with popular digital currency exchange Binance.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO Binance, has recently been in news for supporting Uganda’s economic transformation and Togo’s “4th industrial revolution.” The MoU reads about $15 million worth of investment related to educational programmes under FinTech and blockchain start-ups. The exchange will provide university-level training in blockchain development and compliance for Bermuda’s citizens through the Binance Foundation. Binance Labs will also be funding blockchain companies in Bermuda.
Zhao said, “We think the Bermuda Government and regulatory body are one of the most approachable, most reasonable and most forward-thinking bodies on the planet.”
As per a report published in Business insider by Morgan Stanley on Sunday, April 29, 2018, Malta now enjoys the highest volume of crypto trading in the world followed by Belize. The report states that Malta’s well defined regulatory framework is the reason for its success. Malta was introduced to Binance in March while rival exchange OKEx is registered in Blaze.
Sheena Shah, analyst at Morgan Stanley, wrote, “Binance said that it was moving away from Asia (currently registered in Hong Kong) due to more stringent regulation, especially from Japan. The third-largest exchange, OKEx, also recently announced that it was opening an office in Malta as the government markets itself as “Blockchain Island”.”
It seems like Bermuda is trying to follow the footsteps of Malta to introduce digital innovation within its boundaries. The MoU also confirms that Binance is planning to create a Digital Asset Exchange in Bermuda as soon as possible.