The Bermuda Government, recently, passed a Digital Asset Business Act and an ICO Bill. The Government felt compelled to make changes to their Banking Act because they wanted to create a new class of banks that could work with emerging FinTech, cryptocurrency and blockchain startups.
The local Banks in Bermuda were, initially, unwilling and uncooperative when it came to providing banking services to companies in the emerging FinTech sector. The banks noted that their aversion to risk and significant regulatory barriers were the prime reasons for their unwillingness to cooperate.
Banks May Be Compromising Bermuda’s Economic Growth
According to Finextra, David Burt, the Bermuda Premier and Minister of Finance, who also introduced the Bill in the Bermuda Parliament mentioned that the bank’s behavior:
“Cannot be allowed to frustrate the delivery on our promise of economic growth and success for Bermudians. The fintech industry’s success globally depends on the ability of the businesses operating in this space to enjoy the necessary banking services. In order jurisdictions, banking has been the greatest challenge and for us in Bermuda, it is equally so and therefore it must be resolved.”
The British Island Territory is not the first country to open up to the emerging fintech landscape. Malta, in 2018, has also opened up its doors to cryptocurrency startups like Binance as they aspire to become the next blockchain island. Eastern European nation Estonia has also met with blockchain-based startups and has even unveiled a monument to Bitcoin in March 2018.
Malta Opens Their Doors to the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry
Binance founder Zhao Changpeng mentioned that Malta was also another crypto-friendly country that was “very progressive when it comes to crypto and FinTech.” It’s not much of a surprise considering that Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat had even tweeted a welcome statement to the Binance team as he openly acknowledged his support for the cryptocurrency industry.
Muscat said that Malta aims “to be the global trailblazers in the regulation of blockchain-based businesses and the jurisdiction of quality and choice for world-class fintech companies.” The tweet came after Binance’s shifting their headquarters from Japan to Malta due to regulatory issues in Japan.
Bloomberg reported that Binance is even advising the Maltese Government on their regulatory plans moving forward. Binance’s decision to move to Malta and their need to recruit over 200 staff members will help the country boost its economy and reputation as a crypto friendly nation.
Malta is also, currently, setting up a digital innovation authority who will be responsible for outlining a legal framework for ICOs and verifying blockchain-based companies. While it’s uncertain whether the Mediterranean island will become a global cryptocurrency and blockchain hub, their openness to the cryptocurrency industry is a big step forward for the emerging FinTech sector.