On 19 April, the Government of Bermuda hosted a roundtable at Mishcon de Reya’s offices to discuss Bermuda's Fintech strategy and introduce the new Government-led legislation regarding the regulation of Initial Coin Offerings [ICO].
Hosted by the Hon. Wayne Caines, Bermuda's Minister of National Security, and his team, the roundtable focused on the development and implementation of a comprehensive regulatory framework that provides legal certainty to companies looking to conduct ICOs in Bermuda. The discussion also focused on methods of reducing the risk of cryptocurrencies being used for money laundering and terrorist funding.
The Government of Bermuda is currently working in conjunction with the Bermuda Monetary Authority, which regulates Bermuda’s financial services sector, and the Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group, made up of both public and private sector experts, to make Bermuda a safe and well-regulated global leader in the Fintech space.
There was further discussion of a sandbox-like scheme that would give blockchain startup companies access to the market in a regulated environment, as well as the creation of an e-residency, allowing individuals to set up their companies and do business in Bermuda virtually.
The proposed ICO legislation will involve both amendments to the Companies Act 1981 and the Limited Liability Company Act 2016, as well as new Acts directly targeting the Fintech industry. The next Bill to be tabled in Bermuda will be the Virtual Currency Business Act and will cover the provision of issuing, selling or redeeming virtual coin, tokens and other forms of virtual currency, as well as exchanges, service providers and wallets.