P Xenos and M Bacina
Bermuda beginning bold Blockchain framework
Denis Pitcher, Chief Fintech Advisor to the Premier of Bermuda, has told CoinDesk about his government’s steps to enable blockchain adoption throughout the country.
Pitcher said (emphasis added):
In the summer of 2018, we launched a comprehensive regulatory framework to provide clarity and leverage. We introduced a principle-based framework that allowed us to define more of a scope around a business plan as opposed to specific activities. That allows you to have the flexibility to focus on managing risks of what's new in this space.
Pitcher and his government have set their sights to create a system that allows Bermudians to spend the digital currency they receive on government services and subsequently, build bridges to overseas economies.
He also said (emphasis added):
By allowing the government to accept it, it provides an opportunity for merchants to start saying, ‘Well, I can look at accepting digital dollars.' So taxi operators, tourism operators, commercial businesses have a place to actually spend, which means that you're not going to have to fall back to the traditional financial system.
Pitcher hopes these systems will act as an official introduction for the Bermudians into the global financial ecosystem. He said that the challenge which arises from this is that Bermudians have largely been excluded when it comes to access to financial services. They do not have access to PayPal, Revolut or Square and access to the Apple App Store is limited to credit or gift cards.
In a sadder comment, Pitcher acknowledged that:
We’re too small. Nobody cares about 60,000 people.
Despite being a small market, it is possible that a digital currency could help Bermuda be a bigger player in the emerging innovation around digital currencies and blockchain.