Premier: technology needed for future growth
The man who leads global fintech company Circle says Bermuda is way ahead of other places in the world when it comes to understanding digital assets.
Jeremy Allaire, chief executive officer of Circle, spoke at the start of the Bermuda Tech Summit, part of Tech Week, where he shared an on stage conversation with David Burt.
The Premier opened the summit with an announcement that the Bermuda Government has committed to accepting one-to-one US dollar-backed digital currencies that are regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, for payment of government taxes, services and fees. The initiative has support from a number of technology companies, including Circle, and it is expected it will be operating in the new year.
More than 300 people attended the summit at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club. At the opening session, Mr Burt said: “Technology is the future. If you look at five of the six largest companies in the world today, they are technology companies.
“We know that embracing new technology is necessary for the future growth of our economy, and so, in Bermuda, we are making sure that we are leading the world in facilitating innovation. If existing and new businesses cannot innovate in Bermuda, they will find other jurisdictions to innovate, meaning Bermuda will lose out on opportunities. It is essential that Bermuda remains a centre of innovation and continues to improve our competitive advantage in financial services.”
While Mr Allaire, explaining why he chose Bermuda to operate his business, said: “To build our international business, we needed to find a jurisdiction that understood the breadth of digital assets and the scope of what we want to achieve.
“Bermuda is way ahead than any other country in this regard. As the adoption of digital currencies becomes mainstream, countries like Bermuda who are participating in the innovation stand to benefit and are helping to create a world where the exchange of value is as efficient, free and open as the exchange of information, knowledge and content is today.”
The Bermuda Business Development Agency hosted the free-to-attend summit, titled “Focused on the Future,” in partnership with FinTech Bermuda. Attendees heard from expert speakers who discussed the transformational impact of technology on investment and business models in a wide range of industry sectors.
Keynote speaker Terence Mills, CEO of Al.io and a member of the Forbes Technology Council contributing on the topic of artificial intelligence, spoke to a packed room about the future of work and the challenges and potential of integrating AI into workflows. He gave a presentation on using technology to drive efficiencies with the US healthcare system as an example case.
Other panels highlighted relevant themes such as the increasing demand from customers for connectivity in hospitality, remote working as a future business model in place of an office and thinking inclusively when it comes to building technological infrastructure.
Roland Andy Burrows, CEO of the BDA, said: “The tech-savvy and modern business approach that Bermuda is inculcating serves to enhance our appeal in the eyes of the next generation of business leaders, investors and high-net-worths.
“Bermuda has long been a domicile of choice for insurance, asset management and trusts among many other industries, thanks to the stability, quality and ease of doing business it offers. A combination of these same features, along with our future-focused approach, are now attracting technologists and innovators, the likes of whom are with us today.”
The inaugural Bermuda Tech Week, which also featured Hub Culture’s Liquidity Summit, continues tomorrow with the second day of Tech Beach Retreat, which is being held in Bermuda for the first time.
• There is a Bermuda Tech Week website at www.bermudatechweek.bm</i>
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