Bermuda launches crypto regulation, lands investment from Binance

Bermuda has launched legislation to regulate cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings, with Binance investing $15m in the country.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Friday, Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt announced that a memorandum of understanding has been signed, under which the Binance Charity Foundation will put $10m toward educational programs related to the tech. An additional $5m will be invested in blockchain startups.

On top of that, Binance said it will help the Bermuda government develop a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as well as establish a new office in the country.

Burt said at the conference: “Through this partnership, Binance proposes to develop its global compliance base here in Bermuda, creating at least 40 jobs in Bermuda with at least 30 jobs for Bermudians … [and] as soon as practical, develop a digital asset exchange in Bermuda subject to all required legal and regulatory processes, and finally, work collaboratively with the government of Bermuda and all necessary oversight agencies in the development and improvement of the robust legal and regulatory framework.”

Following the rise in popularity for cryptocurrencies and ICOs globally, countries around the world are taking different approaches to regulation. Some are in the process of debating how best to regulate cryptos, while some have banned them all together.

Bermuda on the other hand has crafted the Virtual Currency Business Act, which aims to be a model for global cryptocurrency regulation.

The Virtual Currency Business Act includes extensive consumer protection so that the BMA can protect its citizens, but has enough regulation to allow the ecosystem to flourish.
The legislation seeks to attract FinTech entrepreneurs, the country’s Minister of National Security noted during an overview of its proposed fintech regulatory framework at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute.

The minister, Wayne Caines, said the VCBA defines “virtual currency business” as the provision of the following activities: issuing, selling or redeeming virtual coins, tokens or any other form of virtual currency. This includes an ICO business on behalf of customers and would also cover payment service providers.

It would also cover virtual currency exchanges, virtual currency wallets, and virtual currency services vendors, defined as any business providing specific virtual currency-related services to the public. The legislation will address the ‘intersection of cryptocurrency and fiat’, preventing fraud and market manipulation, the integrity of cryptocurrency owners and clear descriptions of the risks for prospective investors.
Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has also agreed to invest $15m in the island country.



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