Bermuda’s minister of commerce and labor, Jason Hayward, said, “We are aware of the recent fall in the price of cryptocurrencies and remain optimistic that it does not affect the island’s capacity to become a crypto center.”
Despite the significant market drop in 2022, the Bermuda government is pressing ahead with its ambitious aspirations to become a cryptocurrency powerhouse.
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According to Bermuda’s minister of industry and labor, Jason Hayward, the small island state famed for its stunning pink sand beaches and favorable taxation rules has been actively building its crypto sector since 2017.
On June 3, he stated that the government is unconcerned by the current market fall triggered by the Terra ecosystem’s collapse in May, noting that the market has withstood several storms since 2017.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Hayward cited the economy’s and local authorities’ expertise dealing with international companies as a crucial component in Bermuda’s ability to become a crypto center. He also asserted that the incident will have no impact on the company’s future plans:
We’re aware of the recent drop in cryptocurrency prices, but we’re convinced that it won’t jeopardize the island’s capacity to become a crypto hub.
“This slump in the business is likely to help us achieve our objective and have a favorable influence on our long-term growth and role in this industry,” he added.
According to Crag Swan, the BMA’s chief executive, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) has issued a total of 14 licenses for crypto businesses to operate out of the British island territory, with four of those being authorized in 2022.
Class T, a multi-asset-class trading business, Bittrex Global, Circle Internet Financial Ltd., issuers of USD Coin (USDC), and BlockFi, a crypto interest account provider, are among the firms on the list, which received a license in January of this year.
Swan stressed, however, that the BMA is not aiming to welcome anybody who wants to open a crypto hub in Bermuda, and that the BMA is prioritizing quality over number in its crypto hub goals.
“Obviously, the people we want in Bermuda have to be fit and decent because we’re trying to keep the jurisdiction’s good name,” he explained.
Bermuda’s licensing procedure is divided into three parts, according to Hayward: a testing license, a modified license, and ultimately a fully authorized operational license. The testing phase normally lasts three to twelve months, but the BMA has not said how long it takes to become completely approved.
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The head of the Financial & International Business Association (FATF), David Schwartz, told the Wall Street Journal that the Bermuda government has been making progress in its anti-money laundering compliance activities since 2020, but that there was still more to be done.
The FATF, located in Paris, sets worldwide anti-money laundering regulations, and Schwartz believes that the success of Bermuda’s crypto industry will be determined by how closely the government monitors and supervises the businesses it licenses:
They have excellent rules, regulations, and laws, but at the end of the day, it’s all about implementation.