Premier: Govt To Accept Some Digital Currency

October 16, 2019 | 30 Comments

Premier David Burt announced that the Bermuda Government has “committed to accept, for payment of government taxes, fees and services, 1:1 US dollar backed digital currencies that get licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.”

The Premier made the announcement today during the Bermuda Tech Summit, at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, prior to his talk with Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle.

During the announcement, Premier Burt said, “For the past six months, the Chief Fintech Advisor and the Fintech Business Unit have worked hard to attract Fintech business to the island. This will establish Bermuda as an example to other jurisdictions on how to adopt and benefit from the advancement of technology around digital currencies.

“There are many views from legislators and regulators on approaches to digital currency and a lot of talk but little action. For Bermuda, the risks of launching our own digital currency outweigh the opportunities.

“However, we recognize that there are experts who have been developing this technology to simply create digital versions of existing money that can be used to improve our financial system today. This technology represents an opportunity to increase access and lower costs to financial services.

“There is a wide ecosystem of players keen to build the future of financial services on top of these digital dollars and many have expressed an interest in becoming licensed under the Bermuda Digital Asset Business regulatory regime and work closely with Bermuda to advance this initiative.”

During a discussion of the endeavor, Premier Burt said, “Well, our successes to date: Bermuda, the Digital Asset Business Act came into force in September of 2018, so it’s been in place for approximately 13 months now.

“In those 13 months since it’s come into place, Bermuda has three licensees under that particular Act. We also have eight active offices in Bermuda; there are 31 jobs which have been created in Bermuda which would not have existed if it was not for the Digital Asset Business Act.

“And as we see with the announcements today, and others, there is going to continue to be growth in this industry. But we are taking the long game; the reason why we’re taking the long game is that we are not trying to be the flash in the pan, the real fancy thing. We’re not trying to be everything to everybody.

“Bermuda is not an inexpensive jurisdiction in which to operate. It is not easy to get licenced by the Bermuda Monetary Authority. There have been many persons who have tried and have not met the bar.

“And so our message is very simple: if you are one of those really good companies, that as Jeremy has said, is looking for a place to actually build out and have clarity so that you can get rid of some of the challenges that you may have in other places, we are the jurisdiction of choice, and we are going to continue to progress in that area.

“So I am very hopeful – I’m incredibly hopeful. And from a domestic perspective, there is always a lot of noise. There’s a lot of noise as to ‘what does this mean and how does this work’.

“I am not focused on that because I couldn’t tell you and I’ve referred on many occasions that it was Brian O’Hara that said that the same noises that they were hearing in the 80s about the insurance industry are the same noises that people are making now about the fintech industry, and we know how insurance worked out for Bermuda and we are now going to continue the growth and progress in financial services.

“There’s been a lot of progress to date, and there’s going to be even more progress.”

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Comments (30)

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  1. burt onomics says:

    so I can pay my taxes in bitcoin?

    • Onion_peels says:

      I’d just like the ability to pay my taxes online in Bermuda dollars.
      Getting my tax statements by email would be a bonus.

      I’m not holding my breath given they can’t even work out a bus schedule.

  2. toadinthehole says:

    Mr Premier, while you play the long game, your people are struggling to get by now. Where is the short and medium game to help them? 31 jobs in 2 years does not sound great and if that is the rate of job creation, it will be a very long game indeed.

  3. question says:

    Collecting taxes in Arbitrade coins.
    This guy Burt is so easily suckered it’s unbelievable.

  4. Retro says:

    Maybe somebody can correct me here but if Government incentivizes locals and local companies to pay their taxes in a foreign currency then surely they are devaluing the BDA dollar. I don’t get this at all !

  5. Onion_peels says:

    Hahahaha I can’t even pay half my government fees directly from Clarien Bank now. I have to use a credit card. Apparently it’s too much trouble for the government to setup direct payment options with Clarien. And they think they’re going to accept digital currencies.

    I think we must have had somebody write the report using “acccept” in place of “except”. A common mistake in Bermuda.

  6. TJ says:

    Finally. If you get what the Premier is laying down is… this will also open the doors for pay with your phone and other digital wallets like apple and google pay.

  7. DeOnion says:

    If we buy these currencies will we be subject to foreign currency purchase tax?

  8. Joe Bloggs says:

    ” the Bermuda Government has “committed to accept, for payment of government taxes, fees and services, 1:1 US dollar backed digital currencies that get licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority.””

    Ok, so which digital currency would that be? It is not Bitcoin (which is currently worth US$8,266.14 to 1 Bitcoin) or Litecoin (which is currently worth US$55.49 to 1 Litecoin).

    • Seriously says:

      Who cares? In both examples the value to coin ratio is considerably higher than all legacy currencies in the world today! Read a book or a webpage!

    • Seriously says:

      And while all you dreamers have been sleeping people like us who understand things have made a significant amount of money trading in coin and related industries who accept it as part of their supply chain processes! So take your time as it’s more money for us awake people vs you dreamers and fear mongers!

  9. Trump supporter says:


  10. Rocky5 says:

    This is just a way for the PLP Government to collect MORE Taxes because there will be Foreign Currency Purchase tax applied against the purchase & sale of the Cryptcoins. Is the Government going to start paying Gov’t employees, Pensions & Gov’t bills with Cryptocoins?

  11. ImJustSayin says:

    Trade Fintech is not regulated, so if something goes wrong, you probably will never get your money back. Everyone from online lenders to bank technology companies has experienced elongated fund – raising cycles, missed targets, and mounting losses. Unfortunately, fintech companies (and online lenders in particular) often receive pressure from both existing and potential investors to demonstrate so-called “hockey stick” growth. This, in turn, leads to short-term thinking on behalf of the Fintech Company. When Fintech companies start using their investment dollars not for innovation, but for quick growth, problems can arise.

    • Seriously says:

      You ever bought shares? You risk losing your money and no regulator sends you a check if you lose! It’s called risk reward dumb a$$ and it’s how we smart people make money into wealth! Get on the train as it’s a good ride!

  12. imjustsaying says:

    In cryptocurrencies, price is determined solely on the basis of demand and supply, and speculation is what drives their price.
    For instance, bitcoins being the most popular crypto is most expensive, priced over $ 9,000 as on February 26, 2018. In April 2017, the bitcoin was priced at around $1,100 and within an year the price surged to over $9000 by February 2018.
    Bitcoin price on January 26, 2018 was $ 11,090.06 and on February 5, within 10 days it crashed to $ 6,941.26, and as on February 26 it is $9,690.01.
     buying Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies is more like gambling than investing.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Every currency is valued on investor confidence. The “Gold standard” disappeared over 80 years ago.

      Buying Bitcoin or Litecoin or other cryptocurrency is very much like any other form of currency speculation except that such cryptocurrencies do not actually exist.

      With a share or a traditional currency your investment is tangible. Crytocurrencies are entirely digital and there is no known source of central control.

      That is why there is concern about the Bermuda Government joining the cryptocurrency revolution, not because cryptocurrency is bad, but because is it speculative (or gambling with real money).

  13. Kathy says:

    I don’t like it one bit!

  14. Question says:

    How many digital currencies are backed by US dollars? Do any exist?

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      No. That is the point. Cryptocurrencies are a new form of investment. They are unregulated and uncontrolled. A perfect way to launder money!

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