Video: Premier David Burt On Fintech Plans

June 15, 2018 | 3 Comments

The Digital Asset Business Act requires companies that are licensed in the fintech space to have a physical presence here in Bermuda, within the next two months we may begin to see more companies begin setting up, and the legislation being passed seeks to ensure that business done on our shores will be done with the highest standards.

This was from Premier David Burt, who recently sat down with Bernews for a live interview on a wide range of topics, with the Government’s plans in the fintech and blockchain sphere among the matters discussed.

Premier on FinTech, Blockchain TC Bermuda June 14 2018

When ask about the Government’s plans will translate to jobs, Premier Burt told Bernews, “The translation to jobs is very simple.

“The reason why I say the translation to jobs is very simple is that our Digital Asset Business Act which passed the Senate and will be receiving royal assent either tomorrow or next week requires companies that are licensed in this space to have a physical presence here in Bermuda.

“That is the exact same as where we see with the insurance industry and that is the exact same as which we see with the banking industry. From our perspective, this is just the first step.

“We must understand that the major insurance markets in Bermuda did not develop until after 1986. It took us 30 years to get to where we are, and the fintech market will be no different. It might move a little quicker, but we are at the very early stages.

“The view and the vision of this Government is to establish a sound regulatory environment and to establish an excellent place where companies can look to do business and supplement that with the training which is necessary to ensure that Bermudians can participate in this space.

“The participation of Bermudians in this space will not just be working. When some of the memorandum of understandings which we signed will make money available for Bermuda-based companies.

“We’ve already seen one company that’s signed up in a joint venture and invested a million dollars in a Bermuda-based company which is going to start deploying solutions in e-identity, which means that by next year I’ll be able to tell the public of the country that you no longer have to fill out multiple forms for your bank every year, that we’ll be able to do it one time in one central location and be able to have that information automatically transferred to a number of Government departments and number of banks. These are the type of developments that will happen and we will see more companies investing in this space.

“What we have to do is we have to finish going through the process. The first step was the ICO legislation. The second step was the Digital Asset Business Act. The third step will be finalizing the regulations which will apply for token offerings, and then the fourth step will be finalizing the regulations which are going to apply to the Digital Asset Business Act.

“After that, we need to make sure that we have the banking piece solved where there’ll be announcements from the Government on how we’re going to solve that piece, and I’m relatively certain that within the next two months you’ll begin to see more companies that will sign leases, that will begin hiring, that will begin setting up, and will begin their philanthropic efforts here in Bermuda.

“What I would say is that we’re just getting started. If I can set an aside, I think that it’s a very apt comparison to make; when we were in New York last month at the Bermuda Executive Forum, Brian O’Hara said that the same things of which he is hearing said about the fintech industry in Bermuda are the same things that they were saying about the insurance industry in Bermuda in 1986. That was 32 years ago. Look where we are now. I think that if that is the best type of endorsement that we can possibly ask for and we are continuing to work and push on this path.

When asked about some of the reports of hacking and problems correlated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies and how does Bermuda prevent getting affected, the Premier said, “That’s precisely why we’re doing what we’re doing.

“That is precisely the reason why we’re setting up a sound regulator framework. That is precisely the reason why the Bermuda Monetary Authority has taken the lead to make sure that business on our shores that is done inside of this space will be done with the highest standards.

“That is precisely the reason why Bermuda will be successful, because there are so many different places where are not regulating these activities, where customers can be exposed to risk, and where businesses may not be able to act in the best possible fashion. That is the reason why we’re doing precisely what it is that we’re doing, and that is the reason why we’ll be successful.

“My encouragement for people who do not necessarily have a full grasp of understanding is to get educated, to visit our website fintech.bm, which has excellent starting modules that will tell you about the various items of what fintech can mean not only for Bermuda, but to get yourself involved, participate in the community conversations and discussion which we’ve been having, and to understand that this is going to be a space of the future.

“But what I will say, is for every person who has a criticism there are also people who laud us for our approach, and are active and looking on how they can play a part of this industry going forward.

Video excerpt from the live interview showing Premier Burt discussing FinTech & Blockchain:

When asked about the range of jobs he sees coming to Bermuda, the Premier said, “One of the main spaces will be regulatory compliance because compliance is going to be a big field. Making sure that we do the customer due diligence, the anti-money laundering checks. Know your customer etc.

“That is going to be a big area, and as I’ve said previously in the House, that’s an excellent area for those persons, particularly middle-aged persons who have found their jobs outsourced from our local banking sector.

“In addition, we’re going to see more jobs that are going to be created as the Government looks to reform its banking laws to make sure that we can actually bank the assets which are coming inside of the digital asset space. I think that there will be space for those things to happen.

“In addition, there’s going to be the regular technology jobs, which I think are without question very important, and so there’s two levels which we put to that. That are those persons who have experience in technology already and can then advance their ambitions in technology to have a specialization or they could be those people who may want to enter in technology field and then can start that point at an entry level.

“The final place, of course, will be without question, cybersecurity. As there are rules and requirements that the Bermuda Monetary Authority will set out on the security requirements for any business practicing in this space.

“The Government will be soon launching an initiative for additional training in cybersecurity because we want to make sure that Bermudians participate in this industry and we are going to provide the training to enable this to happen.”

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The video above was extracted from the full interview, in which Premier Burt discussed a wide range of topics including the constitutional relationship between the Bermuda/UK, by-election results, sugar tax, education, same sex marriage, racism and more.

We will post additional excerpts from the interview, and to watch the full 40-minute live interview replay, please click here. and if you want to listen ‘on the go’, you can also access an audio-only version of the full interview in the podcast section of the Bernews app.

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Comments (3)

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  1. redrose says:

    But …. what is that physical presence?

  2. Redrose says:

    Well done Mr. Premier!
    It’s those impatient ones who are making all the noise! You do your thing and get this new industry up and runnzing!

  3. SMH says:

    “You do your thing and get this new industry up and runnzing!”

    You’re completely clueless, aren’t you?

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