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Bermuda gears up for digital currency payments

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The opportunity to use digital currency to pay for government taxes, services, and fees in Bermuda is on the way.

In a major announcement David Burt, said the Government has committed to accept digital currency payments, providing they are one-to-one US dollar-backed digital currencies that are licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.

The intention is to have the initiative ready by the start of the new year.

Support has come from Circle, the first company to achieve a full licence under Bermuda's Digital Asset Business Act, and a group of others that include Binance, Bermudian-based Hub Culture, TrustToken and Stably.

The Premier made the announcement this morning at the start of the Bermuda Tech Summit, part of Bermuda Tech Week.

He said: “The Bermuda Government has committed to accept for payment of government taxes, fees and services, one-to-one backed US dollar digital currencies that get licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.”

Mr Burt said Bermuda will be an example to other jurisdictions on how to adopt and benefit from the advancement of technology around digital currencies.

“We are leveraging our position as a jurisdiction with a history of expertise in regulating financial services and our bespoke regulatory framework around digital assets to provide an environment to drive and showcase financial innovation.”

He said the risk of Bermuda launching its own digital currency outweighed the opportunities.

“However, we recognise that there are experts who have been developing this technology to create digital versions of existing money that can be used to improve our financial system today,” he said, stating that the technology represents an opportunity to increase access to and lower the cost of financial services.

“There is a wide ecosystem of players keen to build the future of financial services on top of these digital dollars, and many have expressed an interest in becoming licensed under the Bermuda Digital Business Act and working closely with Bermuda to advance this initiative.”

The Premier added: “Our combined hope is to showcase to the world that there is a clear path providing regulatory clarity around this industry by focusing on the risk, and using Bermuda's small, contained ecosystem, as a place where foreign regulators and legislators can come to touch, see and use, and ultimately understand the benefits of this revolutionary technology.”

Regarding the “one-to-one US dollar stablecoin front” he said support for the initiative has come from Circle and Coinbase with their US Dollar Coin and Centre consortium; Binance with BUSD; TrustToken with TUSD; Stably with USDS; and Hub Culture's Ven with Ultra USD.

In addition, he said: “On the open financial ecosystem front we have the support of Celsius Network, who offer lending services and pay interest on deposits; SALT, the first digital asset lending company and institutional custodian: MAPAy a healthcare payments provider; Sablier, a payment solution provider; and Stablehouse, a stablecoin exchange provider.

He said he was pleased to welcome Patrick Beraducci, ConsenSys' global fintech co-head, whose Codefi Payments tool “will make it easy for governments and merchants to accept digital payments”.

He added: “We welcome any and all companies who are serious about developing the future of open financing to come to Bermuda and work with us to turn Bermuda into a global innovation sandbox and showcase to the world the potential of this exciting new technology.”

Information on the initiative can be found at Fintech Bermuda's website

Future vision: David Burt opened the Bermuda Tech Summit with a major announcement about the Bermuda Government and digital currency payments
Future vision: David Burt opened the Bermuda Tech Summit with a major announcement about the Bermuda Government and digital currency payments (Photograph by Scott Neil)

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Published October 16, 2019 at 1:19 pm (Updated October 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm)

Bermuda gears up for digital currency payments

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