Updated: Jun 06, 2022 07:57 AM
Bermuda is making headlines in cryptocurrency centred publications, republishing portions of a Wall Street Journal story focusing on the island.
Nasdaq.com headlines their markets section with: “Bermuda Seeks to Expand Crypto-Friendly Regulation to Become Digital Asset Hub”.
The Blockcrypto.com leads their regulation section with: “Bermuda persists in developing digital-asset industry amid downturn”.
Finbold.com (Finance in Bold) leads with Cryptocurrency News: “Bermuda banks on clear regulatory framework to attract more crypto firms”.
The WSJ article, which originally broke before the markets opened on Friday, appears to have been generated from the recently concluded 2022 Bermuda Executive Forum in New York , led by the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
Says Finbold: “Amidst the current volatility in the cryptocurrency market, Bermuda is banking on its clarity surrounding digital asset legislation to attract more crypto projects and companies.
“Bermuda is one of the few countries in the world that has implemented a complete framework governing cryptocurrencies…”
“Bermudian officials believe that their expertise in international commerce, which accounts for around 27 per cent of the island’s GDP, together with a skilled local workforce, translate into a basis for the creation of a strong digital-assets sector on the island.”
The Block says: “Bermuda, which has a comprehensive framework regulating cryptocurrency, is doubling down on its understanding of international business and a trained workforce to continue developing its digital-assets industry, the WSJ said.
“Bermuda’s approach comes as some crypto companies say regulatory uncertainty creates a barrier in many places.”
They quote Jason Hayward, minister of economy and labour from the WSJ article: “We are aware of the recent devaluation in the price of cryptocurrencies and remain confident that it does not threaten the island’s ability to become a crypto hub.
“This industry downturn is likely to advance our goal and positively impact our long-term growth and role in this sector.”
Nasdaq.com says: “Many countries the world over are embracing cryptocurrency and wanting to be on the front end of a growing industry. Bermuda is the latest to jump in by establishing a comprehensive cryptocurrency regulation framework.
“It is one of the few countries that has done this, which could establish it as a front-runner in the decentralised financial world.”
The WSJ said this all puts Bermuda in competition with other jurisdictions vying for a share of the crypto industry, such as Malta and Liechtenstein.
“Mr Hayward said the island has been expanding its financial technology and crypto industries since 2017 and persevered through the last downturn in 2018.
“He said the recent collapse of Terra and Luna highlighted the importance of oversight and risk mitigation, something Bermuda has experience with as an insurance and reinsurance hub.
“Bermuda’s approach to luring crypto businesses comes as many crypto companies say regulatory uncertainty remains a barrier for the wider adoption and further development of the industry.
“The crypto sector in the US still lacks significant oversight and investor protections. President Biden in March signed an executive order that directs federal agencies to study digital currencies.
“Observers aren’t surprised that Bermuda wants to establish itself as a crypto hub. David Schwartz, president of the Financial & International Business Association, said Bermuda is leading the way in establishing an infrastructure for the crypto industry, passing a comprehensive framework for regulating digital assets and tightening up its anti-money-laundering controls.
“The Financial Action Task Force, a Paris-based organisation that sets anti-money-laundering law standards, said Bermuda has made significant improvements to its anti-money-laundering technical compliance regime and has enacted and amended several key regulations, according to its 2020 mutual evaluation.
“But FATF noted that there were challenges recovering the proceeds from illicit activities.
“Mr Schwartz added that it remains to be seen how the Bermuda regulators intend to supervise and examine the crypto firms.”
“They’ve got great rules and regulations and laws, but it’s all about the implementation at the end of the day,” he said.
Jason Hayward: minister of economy and Labour (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)