Bermuda’s Minister of National Security, during an overview of its proposed fintech regulatory framework at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute, mentioned that Bermuda is moving forward on virtual currency laws and regulations as it looks to attract fintech entrepreneurs. The minister, Wayne Caines, also stated that next month, the Virtual Currency Business Act is planned for discussion. He also quoted “the emergence of new financial products and services created through the use of technology has opened new and exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses. So we consider this to be landmark legislation for Bermuda, and in that regard, this is a very exciting time for this Government.
The legislation will be a “shining example” for what Bermuda can achieve, he said. A 150-page paper on the Virtual Currency Business Act was posted on the BMA’s website. Feedback by stakeholders must be submitted by May 2.
The VCBA describes “virtual currency business” which would include the following activities: issuing, selling or redeeming virtual coins, tokens or any other form of virtual currency.
This would include an ICO business on behalf of customers. The ICO legislation will require the Minister of Finance’s consent for ICOs. ICO issuers will have to collect, verify and retain customer identity information.
“By being one of the few countries in the world to specifically regulate ICOs, we believe that the proposed regulatory framework will provide legal certainty to companies looking to conduct ICOs in Bermuda.” Reported the Bernnews
The act would also cover payment service providers, defined as: “a person whose business includes the provision of services for the transfer of funds.” Also included would be services vendors, Wallets and virtual currency exchanges and which are defined as any business providing services in the realm of virtual currencies.
The legislation will also speak about the connection of cryptocurrency and fiat, averting fraud and market manipulation, the integrity of cryptocurrency owners, clear descriptions of the risks for prospective investors, BMA enforcement powers, Caines said.
The government is finding it hard to keep up with the number of people who want to come to Bermuda as it plans to regulate virtual currency, Caines said. He said it is “phenomenal” that the government is going to London this weekend where it will meet with 20 interested companies.
Last year, Bermuda’s Premier and Finance Minister, David Burt, launched the Blockchain Task Force. It included a legal and regulatory working group to ensure that the country creates a blockchain-friendly atmosphere for interested organizations and startups.
It was also noted that The government from Bermuda will also attempt to establish an electronic ID scheme this year for its residents – which will be a program that strengthens the country’s fintech credentials and help it attract even more people in this field.