Fintech unit expanded, incorporations grow
Fifty-five companies involved in fintech have incorporated in Bermuda and a number of them have started hiring.
Waiting in the wings are another 24 companies described as “strong prospects” by David Burt.
The Premier provided an update on the island’s advances in the fintech space as he introduced a third member to the Fintech Business Unit.
Denis Pitcher, a technology entrepreneur and columnist for The Royal Gazette, has joined Wayne Smith and Gina Tucker in the unit that was set-up in October to oversee the island’s fintech initiatives.
“Without a doubt, Bermuda has carved out a pioneering and leadership position in this area. This kind of momentum and activity requires the right resources and support,” Mr Burt said.
Announcing Mr Pitcher’s appointment as fintech technical consultant, Mr Burt said: “Denis has extensive knowledge of fintech-related technologies such as blockchain, distributed ledger, and cryptocurrencies and has been a local advocate on this subject for a number of years.”
Mr Pitcher is the tech co-founder and chief architect of resQwest.com, a tourism technology solutions provider and has also worked as a trading systems developer for Orbis Investment Management. He is a member of the Bermuda Business Development Agency’s fintech working group and has served as an adviser to on-island bodies on fintech and its potential, including the Fiscal Responsibility Panel.
Mr Pitcher said: “I’m very pleased to be given an opportunity to help make a difference for this new industry for Bermuda. It holds a lot of promise and potential for our future.”
At a press conference to announce Mr Pitcher’s appointment, the Premier was asked how many jobs have been created by fintech companies coming to Bermuda. He said BitCarbon has been advertising positions, and Alpha Innovations has started hiring. Mr Burt added: “I met a few companies last week who have moved here, so the work is beginning to progress.”
The Royal Gazette asked when will the island see companies licensed under the Digital Asset Business Act 2018.
The Premier said that was up to the Bermuda Monetary Authority, but he did know that applications have been filed.
He said: “The BMA has set up a fintech unit internally, looking at new technologies whether they be on the insurance side or the fintech side more broadly, and there are companies going through that process.
“The BMA has a remit to ensure that any companies that are going to be operating in our space in an industry that is considered high risk meet all the very high standards that we have set.
“I’m certain that the companies are very grateful for the high standards, and we are grateful for those high standards. Because we are looking to attract high-quality companies to Bermuda.”
Mr Burt was also asked about the Bermuda’s efforts to meet the requirements of the European Union with regards to companies registered on the island having “economic substance”.
Mr Burt sad the EU’s standards have been adopted by the OECD and are global standards.
He said: “We are not going to telegraph what we are doing to competing jurisdictions. We have a strategy that we are working and executing on. Bermuda is going to maintain its leadership position.”
The Premier said the island has more people than it has companies, and that it has always been a place of substance.
He added: “We are going to deal with the companies that are affected. It is my intention that we will be successful and see economic growth from this situation.
“But let us be clear, it is a change in the way the world does business, it is going to be a profound change in the way Bermuda does business.
“The Government has a strategy to ensure that the companies that may be affected are going to find a way to remain within the rules and in a way that can benefit the Bermuda economy.”
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