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Opposition leader calls for caution in building digital future

Cole Simons, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance (File photograph)

The opposition leader believes actions taken by the SEC against Binance and Coinbase raise significant concerns about Bermuda's sterling reputation, especially considering its support for the cryptocurrency industry.

Cole Simons, the leader of the One Bermuda Alliance, has asked the Government to supply an update on the deliverables on an agreement it signed with the principals of Binance in 2018.

He asked specifically if any jobs were created and what benefits were enjoyed. He was reacting to news that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed charges against two Bermuda-linked fintech companies, Binance and Coinbase.

He said in a statement: “These companies are known to be connected to Bermuda. If the SEC investigations are followed through to completion, and if the charges are valid. it could have a domino effect on Bermuda. It would call into question, locally and internationally, the potential fitness and suitability of both companies’ relationship and operation in Bermuda.”

Mr Simons said the Government should be exercising greater caution when developing the digital-asset industry. He said given concerns raised on both sides of the Atlantic, it would be prudent for Bermuda to reconsider its business associations with companies that demonstrate a disregard for the law and regulatory oversight. He said: “The allegations by the SEC raise international red flags and could potentially damage Bermuda's blue-chip reputation as a responsible jurisdiction for conducting business.

“If any improprieties are discovered by Binance or Coinbase in other jurisdictions, the BMA should conduct thorough investigations. Upholding integrity and professionalism are paramount to maintaining the BMA's well-deserved reputation.”

“While Bermuda may not have the same level of oversight as the SEC and FCA, any indications of wrongdoing should prompt the BMA to conduct further investigations. The Minister of Finance's influence on the regulator should not compromise the pursuit of truth and accountability.”

Mr Simons said: “As the Premier and Minister of Finance, David Burt must not let his judgment be clouded by his unwavering and dogged determination to ensure that he is the founder of Bermuda’s digital-asset sector.”

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Published June 07, 2023 at 7:54 am (Updated June 07, 2023 at 10:16 pm)

Opposition leader calls for caution in building digital future

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