Bermuda Government to Introduce New Regulations on ICOs, Address ‘Legal Ambiguity’

July 14, 2018
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The Government of Bermuda has introduced ICO regulations that require issuers to provide detailed data in order to conduct an ICO

The Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda David Burt introduced new regulations on initial coin offerings (ICOs) speaking before the House of Assembly, the Royal Gazette news reports July 13. The regulatory framework describes minimum required information for ICO projects and establishes compliance measures for companies to conduct an ICO.

Addressing the lower house of the Bermudian Parliament, Burt outlined regulations that would require Bermudian ICO issuers to provide detailed information about “all persons involved with the ICO.” Issuers must also disclose a review of the project, including such key aspects as the product or service, the market audience, financing system, the amount of money that is planned to be raised, and technical aspects associated with software and blockchain specifications.

Burt stated that a group of new bills would be tabled before the end of summer that would expand existing laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. The Premier added that Bermuda has developed a legal environment “expeditiously” that addresses the “legal ambiguity” plaguing the fintech and blockchain industries. 

The Premier stated that, in response to “market demand,”  the Bermuda government set out to develop a legal framework for distributed ledger technology (DLT) firms, passing the Digital Asset Business Act 2018. The new regulatory regime sets visible boundaries for blockchain and crypto-related businesses and protects the rights of their existing and potential clients.

Earlier this month, the government of Bermuda announced plans to release amendments to the Banking Act to establish a new class of bank to provide services to local fintech and blockchain organizations. After local banks refused to offer services to blockchain companies, the government consulted with them to create the new classification.

In April, Premier Burt signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume, to establish funding for educational programs on blockchain and fintech. Burt said that a new Binance “global compliance base” would create 40 new jobs, 30 of which would go to Bermudians.

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