Earlier news reports much revealed that a Digital Asset Business Act and an initial coin offering (ICO) bill had both been duly passed by Bermuda`s parliament. Following these major steps – both having a bearing on the world of cryptocurrecy, Bermuda has recently announced its intentions to alter banking regulations so as to allow for the establishment of banks with focus on providing banking services to fintech innovations and blockchain technology firms, Finextra reported. This will in effect introduce an amendment to the country`s Banking Act.
It appears the Bermuda government is determined to continually work towards making the self-governing British overseas territory a global hub for blockchain and fintech innovations. Reports suggest that the premier and financial minister of Bermuda David Burt, presented the new bill to Parliament when it was brought to his notice that many banks in the country were closing their doors to blockchain and fintech firms as a result of prevailing regulations and a disposition towards risk aversion.
Burt stated that nothing, not even the reluctance of banks to do business with these new types of firms and unfavorable banking regulations ought to be allowed to hinder governmental attempts at supporting and improving the economic growth of the country. He further noted that banking services across the globe is key to the success of blockchain and fintech business entities and that quite unfortunately banks in Bermuda and many parts of the world have represented one of the greatest hurdles for fintech and blockchain companies.
In 2017, Burt reportedly put together a Blockchain Task Force comprising a regulatory and legal working group to ensure that Bermuda`s business environment is supportive of blockchain technology. Bermuda is working on introducing an E-ID scheme to serve as a nationwide digital ID program for both residents and businesses.
The program is expected to bring about some positive outcomes. Some key requirements will be dropped such as the need for individuals to have multiple hard copies of ID documents while making allowance for the personal control of one`s data. A single aggregation platform for KYC/AML compliance will be provided. The program will provide a single aggregation platform for KYC/AML compliance. The ID scheme is expected to ensure swift customer verification for financial services. It will also ensure that immigration is fast-tracked.
Credible reports reveal that Binance, reputed for being the world`s largest cryptocurrency exchange has enjoyed a close working relationship with the Bermuda government, fostering the development of blockchain initiatives (Twitter/Bermuda Premier, CCN).
Burt recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Binance, stipulating among others that Binance Foundation will make available $10 million worth of university blockchain development and compliance training to Bermuda. Additionally, the Foundation will invest $5 million in blockchain firms in the country.
A Virtual Currency Business Act has been proposed seeking to address virtual currency exchanges, ICOs, wallets and services. When passed into law, it would facilitate the integration of cryptocurrency and fiat currency. Additionally, such a law will address both fraud and market manipulation.
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Image from Dolphin Quest Bermuda