Log In

Reset Password

Premier predicts use of digital assets will democratise finance

David Burt, the Premier, chats with Michael Casey, chief content officer of CoinDesk at the opening of Tech Summit 2022 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

There are digital assets coming in the future that could make life easier for the ordinary citizen by lowering mortgage rates and making it easier to start a business.

That was the message from David Burt, the Premier and Minister of Finance, at the opening of Tech Summit 2022 at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club today.

“Democratisation of finance is something that has always excited me,” Mr Burt said in a fireside chat with Michael Casey, chief content officer of information platform CoinDesk.

Mr Burt said Bermuda was one of the wealthiest countries in the world but had a significant number of people who did not use traditional financial services. He attributed this, partly, to increasing compliance requirements to meet global standards.

“Our local businesses and citizens do pay significant transaction fees on transfer of value,” he said. “Whether it is just to transfer money, or for business owners running credit cards, there is a significant transaction fee that is paid.”

He predicted that in the future, “more ubiquitous use of digital assets” would lead to those fees being lowered.

“That would make the transfer of value easier on so many levels that would be a benefit to the economy,” Mr Burt said. “It will unlock rights extraction, which is taking place inside of our traditional finance services sector, and will force those institutions to be more competitive.”

Mr Burt saw a positive future for Bermuda.

“But it is difficult to talk about it because it is so conceptualised,” he said. “We have to compare this to the beginning of the internet. We are just at the cusp of what transfer of value means.”

On the topic of digital-assets regulation, Mr Casey asked the Premier about balancing regulation and innovation.

“Where is that sweet spot without creating too much tension and contradiction?” Mr Casey asked.

Mr Burt admitted that could be a challenge.

“We have to balance innovation versus the fact that we are an extremely regulated financial services centre and we have a reputation that we have to continue to zealously guard,” he said.

He said Bermuda could not be all things to all people.

“It is not an easy bar to get through the Bermuda Monetary Authority,” he said. “There are companies who do not want regulation and do not want people to know what they are doing, but those are companies that are not welcome in Bermuda.”

He said the world was emerging from a “Wild Wild West” digital-asset space and Bermuda wanted to play host to the best-run companies, who want to be a part of maintaining global financial norms.

Mr Burt predicted there would be more jobs in fintech developing in the next four years

“It will be a continually growing enterprise here,” he said.

The three-day Tech Summit 2022 is presented by the Bermuda Business Development Agency in partnership with the Government’s Economic Development Department and fintech industry association, NEXT Bermuda.

For more information see www.bda.bm/events/bermuda-tech-summit-2022.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published October 27, 2022 at 7:47 am (Updated October 27, 2022 at 7:47 am)

Premier predicts use of digital assets will democratise finance

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon