Blockchain’s promise to decentralize business holds huge potential, specifically for new organizations looking to make the best of the heavily secured and encrypted ledger system. But its central mission of disruption is often at odds with legacy infrastructure’s slow-to-accommodate innovation cycles.
In an effort to capitalize on this burgeoning technology, territories with smaller, more adaptable governments are overhauling established processes to encourage the local development of blockchain and crypto businesses. With its rapid modernization and integration success, Bermuda is emerging as a global hub for blockchain.
“People are looking for a jurisdiction with regulatory certainty,” said The Hon. Wayne M. Caines (pictured, right), J.P., M.P., minister of national security at the government of Bermuda. “They want to [know] what this country has done in the past and what they have to trade on.”
Caines and Kevin Richards (left), concierge and business development manager of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, spoke with John Furrier, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during last week’s Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto. They discussed Bermuda’s work in blockchain and how it’s aiming to set a standard for the future of cryptocurrency.
A roadmap for blockchain business
Bermuda’s blockchain journey began just eight months ago following the interest Caines cultivated among entrepreneurs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“So many people were coming up to us for more information,” Caines said. “We realized that our plan that we thought we could phase in over 18 months had to be accelerated.”
The first priority in Bermuda’s blockchain strategy was a solid legal and regulatory framework, which Caines and his team achieved through the development of the Digital Asset Business Act.
“An independent regulator called the Bermuda Monetary Authority penned the Digital Asset Business Act, regulating cryptocurrencies, digital assets, and the digital asset space exchanges,” Caines explained. “How many ICO countries do we have law? Bermuda became a standout jurisdiction in that regard.”
The territory also offers the services of a business support concierge to identify who an incoming company needs to connect with locally, set up meetings and streamline all development procedures.
“We’ve got a clearly defined roadmap for companies to follow,” Richards said. “From when they first connect to when they’re incorporated and moved to Bermuda to start running their business is a seamless process that has very clearly identifiable road marks.”
So far Bermuda has seen success with the initiative, and the government continues to work with a growing number of potential new businesses.
“We’re meeting three and four fintech companies every day of the week, coming to Bermuda to set up incubators and to do exploratory meetings — interest the likes [of which] have not been seen in the last 20 years,” Caines said.