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Minister:Test licences for digital businesses a boost

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A new limited duration test licence for digital asset businesses is expected to be introduced after legislation was passed in the House of Assembly last Friday.

Curtis Dickinson, the Minister of Finance, said that research carried out by the Bermuda Monetary Authority found that the current licensing regime “did not adequately support the early stages of innovation” in the sector.

He added: “The authority is of the view that the best way to enhance the present framework is by the addition of a new ’Class T’ or test licence.”

MPs heard that the permit would last for up to a year and is expected to “encourage more start-up companies to domicile in Bermuda”.

Cole Simons, the leader of the Opposition, said that his party supported the Digital Asset Business Amendment Act 2020.

He added: “We want to go on the record as stating that the One Bermuda Alliance will not put any barriers to digital asset innovation in Bermuda.

“We recognise that we need to diversify our economy and, as a consequence, the digital asset business and digital economy is the way forward and so we will be supportive where we can in the industry.”

But Mr Simons asked for guarantees that regulations would be followed to make sure that companies that worked from the island had “a sterling reputation”.

David Burt, the Premier, said that the new licence would mean companies “can be part of a regulatory regime and be supervised while they test out” their ideas.

He added: “These changes that we are making are all about innovation and this is all about putting Bermuda in the forefront and, most of all, it’s about putting Bermudians in the forefront.”

Mr Dickinson told MPs that the BMA was committed to protection of the island’s reputation.

Members also passed an amendment to the Insurance Act to expand the scope of companies required to register under the legislation.

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Published November 30, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 26, 2021 at 12:57 am)

Minister:Test licences for digital businesses a boost

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