OBA: Use ‘Greater Caution’ With Digital Assets

June 7, 2023

“It is absolutely crucial for the Premier and Minister of Finance, David Burt, to exercise greater caution when developing the digital asset industry,” Opposition Leader Cole Simons said.

Mr. Simons said, “The U.S Security Exchange Commission [SEC] recently took action against Binance and their founder, Changpeng Zhao, filing 13 charges that include operating unregistered exchanges, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies.

“They also accuse Binance of misrepresenting trading controls and oversight on the Binance.US platform, as well as engaging in the unregistered offer and sale of securities.

“Coinbase Global Inc. has also been sued by the SEC, alleging that the crypto firm violated regulations by not registering as a broker, a national securities exchange, or a clearing agency with US regulators.

“These developments raise significant concerns about Bermuda’s sterling reputation, especially considering its support for the crypto-currency industry.”

Mr Simons noted that in April 2018, the New York Times newspaper showcased Premier David Burt signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Binance and its CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Mr Simons asked, “What is the current status of the deliverables on the MOA, were any jobs created and what benefits were enjoyed?

He added that “as for Coinbase, on May 2 of this year, Forbes magazine reported that ‘Coinbase Sets Up Shop in Bermuda as it battles the SEC at home’, in the United States,” saying “to me, this headline speaks for itself.”

“These companies are known to be connected to Bermuda. If the SEC investigations are followed through to completion, and if the charges are valid, it could have a domino effect on Bermuda. It would call into question, locally and internationally the potential fitness and suitability of both companies’ relationship and operation in Bermuda.

“It is absolutely crucial for the Premier and Minister of Finance, David Burt, to exercise greater caution when developing the digital asset industry. Thorough evaluation of business partners and adherence to regulatory protections are essential to protect both Bermuda’s reputation and that of the Bermuda Monetary Authority [BMA].

“SEC Chairman Gary Gensler referred to the crypto markets as the ‘Wild West’ of investing, citing concerns about trust in capital markets. The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] has also expressed concerns about one of the companies involved, by imposing restrictions on its regulated activities.

“Given these circumstances, it would be prudent for Bermuda to reconsider its business associations with companies that demonstrate a disregard for the law and regulatory oversight. The allegations by the SEC raise international red flags and could potentially damage Bermuda’s blue-chip reputation as a responsible jurisdiction for conducting business.

“If any improprieties are discovered by Binance or Coinbase in other jurisdictions, the BMA should conduct thorough investigations. Upholding integrity and professionalism are paramount to maintaining the BMA’s well-deserved reputation.

“While Bermuda may not have the same level of oversight as the SEC and FCA, any indications of wrongdoing should prompt the BMA to conduct further investigations. The Minister of Finance’s influence on the regulator should not compromise the pursuit of truth and accountability.

“While it is the individuals, not the business models, who drive nefarious activities, it is imperative that Premier Burt exercise greater caution and carefully select trustworthy business partners to protect Bermuda’s digital asset industry and overall reputation. The stakes are too high.

“As the Premier and current Minister of Finance, David Burt must not let his judgement be clouded by his unwavering, and dogged determination to ensure that he is the founder of Bermuda’s digital asset sector.”

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Comments (11)

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  1. X oba voter says:

    You need to stop concerning yourself about this and count the days left when the UBP aka oba replaces you with their next yes man aka Jarion Richardson.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      Catch up with the times, the UBP has not existed for a dozen years.

      • hmm says:

        You need to catch up with UBPoba having only 5 seats and 1 JETGATE.

        • Joe Bloggs says:

          Carry on with the big lie. Never give up on the big lie!

          • Lol says:

            It’s the UBPoba and members such as you that should give up. The party will never win and the days of looking for another John Swan as a front will never return. If you honestly believe different you don’t understand the voters.

            • Joe Bloggs says:

              Troll alert ^

            • saud says:

              I understand the voters. They’re overwhelmingly racist and homophobic, hence the racist and homophobic policies of our government.
              It’s doesn’t take much to recognize this…unless you’re stupid.

              • Voter says:

                Which the oba truly is!

                • saud says:

                  The words….right over your head.

                  You’re blinded by racism. Sadly.

        • Hey says:

          PLP has 2 jetgates if not more, but this article isn’t about that. This is about reputational damage and the huge negative future economic impact it can have on Bermuda.

          Bermuda relies on International business fullstop. Without it, we are closed, food costs will sky rocket, our GDP will evaporate and jobs in the industry and island wide as demand for goods and services evaporates those jobs will evaporate too.

          Many vistors to the island are relatives and friends of international workers, many visitors are related to international business, eg bankers, industry partners and overseas employees. cut these out of the mix and the tourism industry is more than dead.

  2. LOL - the real one says:

    We know the people involved in pushing crypto.
    We have the names published in the RG & Bernews.
    Ok, did I mention FOLLOW THE MONEY?