ICO: Initial Coin Offering Legislation Tabled

April 13, 2018

Today [Apr 13] the Minister of National Security Wayne Caines, tabled the Companies and Limited Liability Company [Initial Coin Offering] Act, with the Minister saying “we consider this to be landmark legislation for Bermuda.”

The Government said, “Under the proposed Bill, an Initial Coin Offering [ICO] will be treated as a restricted business activity that will require consent from the Minister of Finance. An application for consent will be required to include specific details regarding:

  • [i] The company conducting the ICO and the underlying digital asset offered for sale;
  • [ii] The development and implementation of any product, service or other project related to the ICO, including timelines for completion;
  • [iii] The target amount to be raised through the ICO;
  • [iv] Rights, features, functionality and intended transferability of the digital asset offered for sale;
  • [v] The technology to be used and confirmation of the ability of the technical platform to enable the collection, confirmation and storage of purchaser identity information; and
  • [vi] Compliance and auditing of ICO transactions.

Minister Wayne Caines, Lydia Dickens, Sean Moran, Chris Garrod, Loretta Joseph, John Narraway, Wayne Smith, Kevin Anderson and Kevin Richards – members of the Blockchain Taskforce

Minister Digital Currency Presentation Bermuda April 2018 (1)

Minister Caines said today, “The emergence of new financial products and services created through the use of technology has opened new and exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses. So we consider this to be landmark legislation for Bermuda, and in that regard, this is a very exciting time for this Government.

“On Thursday, I along with members of the Blockchain Taskforce hosted a very successful presentation for more than 150 of Bermuda’s key business partners, where we outlined Bermuda’s Fintech Strategy. We recognize that there’s significant interest in virtual currencies and blockchain technology, and this Government believes that Bermuda will become a global leader in the Fintech space.

“By being one of the few countries in the world to specifically regulate ICOs, we believe that the proposed regulatory framework will provide legal certainty to companies looking to conduct ICOs in Bermuda. It is generally accepted that ICOs are, in most cases, a method of crowd-funding projects or services. However, ICOs may also be used to convey some interest in or right to access or use a physical asset.”

Video of the presentation the Minister mentions above

“Embracing this new world with responsible regulation could lead to, the attraction of new companies and capital investment to Bermuda; additional Government revenues; new career, employment and training opportunities for Bermudians; and the laying of a foundation for a prosperous future for our next generation of Bermudians.”

Minister Caines concluded, “Ultimately, with this legislation, we are enhancing our global reputation and introducing viable ways to strengthen and diversify our economy. We are proving that we can be a leader in this space, and I wish to thank the members of Blockchain Task Force which included a Business Development Working Group and a Legal and Regulatory Working Group for working with the Government to bring forth this groundbreaking legislation.”

Minister Caines noted that the next Bill to be tabled will be the Virtual Currency Business Act [lead by the BMA]. This piece of legislation will set the regulatory infrastructure to govern Virtual Currency Digital asset Exchanges.

Meanwhile, Sean Moran, Head of Business Development for the Bermuda Business Development Agency [BDA], added, “The same features that have made Bermuda a globally respected, business-friendly financial centre for insurance, asset management and private-client business are now being extended to technologists and innovators.

“This promises to be an exciting evolution for Bermuda, and we’re pleased it’s being carried forward with careful legislation, contemporary regulatory oversight, and most of all, the type of collaboration our market is renowned for. Our message is that Bermuda is a sensible platform from which these emerging technology companies can do their global business.”

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Comments (16)

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  1. Lance says:

    Brought to you by the same people that can’t manage the trash pickup. What could go wrong?

    • Justin says:

      You mean more foreigners coming to Bermuda?! How many Bermudian jowbs will be created?! I’m tired of being a second class citizen in my own country!!!

      • Black Soil says:

        News Flash. Even Minister Caines is NOT investing in all this smoke & mirrors, just to make it look like the PLP are creating this “new pillar”.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    Interestingly, nothing is said about whether any virtual currency will be regulated by the Ministee personally, the BMA or the Minister’s puppet Casino Gaming Commission or the Regulatory Authority.

  3. bermewjan says:

    Congrats on focusing on the virtual currency and not on the environment in which that currency will used as legal tender. Talk about putting the cart before the horse! Not to mention, money laundering if it were to really take place will do so based on the environment not being secure. I realise that Minister Caines and his friends are really eager to do something that will boost and “save” the economy, but to take such a half-baked shot at this is only going to create massive AML problems for Bermuda. And all of this when we as a nation are about to face a FATF audit. Pure naive foolishness. So sad that there isn’t a mature, considered expert that our government will hear involved in this fiasco in the making. If there was, this would be a lot more rounded and not arriving so soon! Terrible timing!

    • Crap says:

      Oh **** off! You all hate anything and everything we are trying to accomplish!

      • bermewjan says:

        Digging for gold in the hull of a leaky ship is what I envision when reading your foolish comment.

      • Double S says:

        No different than y’alls attitude between 2013 and 2017. Yo didn’t have a problem with that approach during that time. So you can also *** off.

  4. AverageJoe says:

    Does anyone know when a copy will be released to the public to review?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      What are you saying? That people should be able to check up on their Government?

  5. Warlord2 says:

    Pipe dream

  6. Rocky5 says:

    No mention of BMA regulations/filings? I just hope that AML controls are water tight and Bermuda’s reputation is not damaged by Ponzi scheme style ICOs set up here.

  7. aceboy says:

    Is Wayne Caines the defect Deputy Finance minister or something? Nothing from Flip Flop?

    This is going to end badly.