The Bermuda Monetary Authority has issued a consultation paper on draft regulations pertaining to “virtual currency businesses” and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The proposed bill seeks to create a framework that encourages and fosters the development of Bermuda’s nascent cryptocurrency industry.
Bermuda Reveals Regulatory Proposals for Crypto Industry
The minister of national security, Wayne Caines, described the proposed regulations a “landmark legislation for Bermuda,” adding that “The emergence of new financial products and services created through the use of technology has opened new and exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses.”
On Thursday, Mr. Caines presented “Bermuda’s fintech strategy” to “more than 150 of Bermuda’s key business partners.” Mr. Caines stated that the government “recognize[s] that there’s significant interest in virtual currencies and blockchain technology,” emphasizing Bermuda’s desire to “become a global leader in the fintech space.”
Crypto Sector to be Encouraged Despite Virtual Currency Not Recognized as Legal Tender
The consultation paper defines “virtual currency [as] a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded,” adding that “such does not have legal tender status […] in any jurisdiction,” however, fulfills monetary “functions only by agreement within the community of users of the virtual currency.”
Whilst the document notes that “The virtual currency sector is varied in business types,” the major participants are described as being comprised of “ICO issuers,” “virtual currency exchange providers and traders,” “custodial wallet providers,” and “virtual currency miners.”
The proposed framework will require that businesses facilitating the sale of or providing services relating to cryptocurrencies collect and retain key information pertaining to customers, noting that the cryptocurrency sector “presents tremendous risk that requires robust […] Anti-Money Laundering/Anti-Terrorism Financing (AML/ATF) regulation.”