Survey: majority positive on virtual assets
Two thirds of residents surveyed about the island’s push to recognise businesses dealing with virtual assets, including cryptocurrencies, believe it will improve Bermuda’s economic future.
A survey by Total Research Associates found that was the view of 64 per cent of respondents.
Some 16 per cent took the opposite view, expressing the belief that the Bermuda Government’s introducing of legislation to recognise such businesses would not yield economic benefits, while 20 per cent were uncertain.
Of those who support the initiative, 30 per cent said it would provide economic opportunities and a similar number believe it is “new and innovative” and “the way to the future”. While of those who are opposed to it, a third believe it is too risky, 17 per cent said more research is needed and 14 per cent thought cryptocurrencies had security risks.
The Government has passed or tabled a number of pieces of legislation this year aimed at making the island a more attractive place for fintech companies to do business. Legislation has included the Digital Asset Business Act, the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act, and the Banks and Deposit Companies Amendment (No 2) Act 2018 — which paves the way for a new class of banking licence aimed at providing banking services to Bermudian-based fintech companies.
As of last month, Bermuda has 21 fintech companies incorporated on the island, and a similar number waiting to do so, according to David Burt, the Premier.
The TRA survey found that general familiarity with virtual currencies — one sector of fintech — is low, with only 23 per cent stating any degree of familiarity with the technology, while 57 per cent said they were unfamiliar with it.
The results are part of TRA’s Bermuda Omnibus, a survey of public opinion conducted in April. The results are based on a telephone sample of 400 adults. The overall results are accurate within 4.9 percentage points.
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