Bermuda gov’t unveils bid to attract cryptocurrency industry
The government of Bermuda has unveiled an initiative it says is aimed at accelerating “the establishment and growth” of digital currency businesses on the island.
At a press conference last week, Bermuda premier David Burt announced the formation of a task force comprising two teams that he said will aim to advance Bermuda’s regulatory environment as a destination for utility tokens, tokenised securities, cryptocurrencies, and coin offerings.
A regulatory framework for the companies that uses distributed ledger technologies (DLT) will come in operation in early 2018, he added.
The framework is envisioned as regulating the activities of companies operating in or from Bermuda that use DLT to store or transmit value belonging to others, such as virtual currency exchanges, coins and securitized tokens.
The announcement of the new cryptocurrency focus comes as the price of Bitcoin, the most famous of the numerous cryptocurrencies that have been launched in recent years, has continued to climb inexorably higher, approaching US$10,000, and in the process, continued to fuel a global debate about whether it, and other currencies like it, are viable investments, or simply bubbles.
As the Bermuda authorities pointed out in an announcement accompanying the news of their new initiative, however, digital currencies make use of encryption techniques that are also used need to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds.
BDA in ‘lead role’
Taking a lead role in the Bermuda cryptocurrency initiative is the island’s Business Development Agency (BDA), which has posted information on its website for those interested in learning more about it. This may be viewed by clicking here.
The BDA, which sees the introduction of a cryptocurrency initiative as a way to diversify the island’s economy, has already persuaded a number of cryptocurrency start-ups to establish outposts in the jurisdiction.
Explained BDA chief executive Ross Webber: “It’s all part of our agency’s push for economic diversification, to bring new business to the island, help boost GDP and create jobs, and ensure existing industry service providers are able to benefit, grow and expand.”
According to the BDA, the announcement of the initiative followed recent visits by BDA officials to Silicon Valley in the US aimed at encouraging start-up incubators to the island, which had resulted in the incorporation of two digital currency entities
— an e-sports company called Unikrn Bermuda, and iCash, an online entertainment enterprise — in the past few months.
“As well, Bermuda saw the successful residency of Hub Culture’s digital currency-
powered innovation campus at the Ariel Sands property this summer,” the BDA said, in a statement.
“Another company, Vaphr, founded by Aron Dutta, the former global head of blockchain at IBM and managing director at Cisco Systems, is also in the process of incorporating its global platform on the island.”
Token issuers based in Bermuda need to join and comply with the code of conduct of the new Bermuda Crypto Association, and take in to account measures that will ensure enhanced business transparency, KYC and AML.
The BDA noted that Bermuda-based token issuers would need to join and comply with the code of conduct of the new Bermuda Crypto Association, which includes complying with measures aimed at ensuring enhanced business transparency as well as KYC and AML requirements.