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Burt: fintech executives are not coming to Bermuda to see inside of Westgate

Fintech wants regulation: David Burt, the Premier (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Westgate Correctional Facility has a spectacular ocean view, but digital asset companies are not setting up shop so their executives can see the inside of it, David Burt has told a major fintech conference.

The Premier was speaking on stage yesterday at the Consensus 2023 festival in Austin, Texas which is one of the world’s largest fintech conferences.

“Bermuda is an excellent place to raise capital, but a terrible place to hide it,” Mr Burt was quoted by the Coindesk online news service as saying. “Yes, our prison does have an ocean view, but it’s still a prison. I promise that you won’t enjoy your stay.”

The story said Mr Burt, who led a major delegation to the conference which finished yesterday, said Bermuda has the regulatory clarity that companies in the digital asset space require – and have also been seeking. This was in contrast to some jurisdictions around the world.

Bermuda created one of the world’s first digital assets regimes with the Digital Asset Business Act 2018.

It has three types of licences: a “T” licence for firms doing testing; an “M” licence for firms looking to expand operations; and, an “F” licence for mature companies.

Coinbase, for instance, recently applied for a digital assets licence in Bermuda.

In the United States, it has asked a US court to compel the Securities and Exchange Commission to create a rulebook for crypto while also complaining that the SEC is alleging legal violations “on the fly”.

Coinbase, the largest American crypto currency exchange, has been served with what is known as a Wells Notice in the US, which means its spot trading, staking, custody and institutional trading businesses were at risk.

The SEC's warning to Coinbase noted that the regulator would allege Coinbase was offering and selling unregistered securities, in violation of federal law

Mr Burt said at the Consensus conference: “We have very firm regulation, very tough regulation, but it is the fact that we have regulatory clarity.

“We know what a digital asset is … as it’s clearly spelled out inside of our law. That is something that I think companies appreciate, and I think that's why companies are coming to our shores,” he said.

Mr Burt also spoke on “The Hash” a discussion on topical events in fintech. He spoke about crypto regulation.

That video can be found here

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Published May 01, 2023 at 7:39 am (Updated May 01, 2023 at 7:44 am)

Burt: fintech executives are not coming to Bermuda to see inside of Westgate

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