Bermuda Looks to Attract Business with New ICO Laws

Another British Overseas Territory exhibits a progressive attitude to regulation.

Bermuda is on its way to becoming the fourth British Overseas Territory to offer progressive and relaxed cryptocurrency regulations.

According to The Royal Gazette, a local news source, Premier David Burt told the island’s House of Assembly that companies that want to run an ICO must provide information on everyone involved in the project as well as a description of the technology used to identify them.

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Additional required information includes technical details of the prospective product/service, the target market and the amount of money that the company wants to raise.

Background

Bermuda is a small island in the North Atlantic Ocean. With a land area of just 52 square kilometres and a population of 63,779, it is the 9th most densely-populated region in the world.

It has its own government and constitution, but as a British Overseas Territory, the UK is responsible for its defence and foreign relations. It is located closer to the US than the UK, and interestingly it switched from Bermudan pounds to Bermudan dollars in 1970 – its currency is pegged to the US dollar and the two currencies are used interchangeably on the island.

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Fintech

Burt began the process of making Bermuda a fintech destination in November of 2017 when he created a blockchain task force. The motivation was to stimulate the economy by attracting capital and creating jobs.

In March 2018 Burt said that he wanted to make Bermuda a global leader in fintech “by being ‎one of the first countries in the world to specifically regulate ICOs.”‎

In April the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the local financial regulator, published a consultation paper on the subject of cryptocurrency regulation. It defined cryptocurrency as “a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded and functions as a medium of exchange; and/or a unit of account; and/or a store of value, but does not have legal tender status (i.e., when tendered to a creditor, is a valid and legal offer of payment) in any jurisdiction”. The island has now passed two laws covering cryptocurrency businesses.

According to The Royal Gazette, seven additional anti-money laundering terror financing bills will be tabled for debate during the current parliamentary session. Burt said that the proposed framework is being assessed by a team from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, which is due to arrive in Bermuda in September.

A recent study on the ICO market conducted by accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the two territories with the highest amount of ICO money passing through them are the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. Another autonomous UK territory, Gibraltar, has been at the vanguard of cryptocurrency legislation since last year. The sun never sets indeed.

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