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Bermuda wants to become the next crypto hub

Despite the recent market downturn, the island territory is now aspiring to be among the top crypto hubs as well and has been actively expanding its crypto sector since 2017.

Hamilton, Bermuda / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Mon, 06 Jun 2022, 09:06 am UTC

The crypto market’s recent downturn sent Bitcoin (BTC) trading below $30,000 and Ether (BTC) below $2,000. However, Bermuda remains unfazed by the volatility in digital currency prices and is moving ahead with its plans to establish itself as a major crypto hub.

Aside from its pink sand beaches, Bermuda has long been known as one of the top tax havens in the world. The island territory is now aspiring to be among the top crypto hubs as well and has been actively expanding its crypto sector since 2017, according to Jason Hayward, Bermuda’s minister of economy and labor, Cointelegraph reported.

In fact, the government is not letting the recent collapse of the $60 billion Terra ecosystem derail its plans of becoming a crypto hub. Hayward said that the experience of the economy and local regulators in dealing with foreign businesses could help it achieve this goal.

The government is bullish that the crypto market’s downturn can help it achieve its goal rather than hamper it. “We are aware of the recent devaluation in the price of cryptocurrencies and remain confident that it does not threaten the island’s ability to become a crypto hub,” Hayward told the Wall Street Journal. “This industry downturn is likely to advance our goal and positively impact our long-term growth and role in this sector.”

Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) CEO Crag Swan revealed that his office has already granted licenses to 14 crypto firms to operate in the territory, four of which were just approved this year. These include the crypto exchange Bittrex Global, USDC issuer Circle Internet Financial Ltd., multi-asset-class trading firm Class T, and BlockFi.

However, the BMA won’t just be giving away crypto licenses to anyone who wants one as Swan emphasized that they’re looking for quality over quantity. “So obviously the persons that we want in Bermuda must be fit and proper because essentially we’re looking at maintaining the jurisdiction’s quality name,” the executive explained.

David Schwartz, President of the Paris-based Financial & International Business Association (FATF) said that Bermuda’s regulatory landscape has improved as the government has been making strides since 2020 when it comes to anti-money laundering compliance. “They’ve got great rules and regulations and laws, but it’s all about the implementation at the end of the day,” he said.

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