Bermuda Makes History! First Country to Regulate ICOs

Bermuda’s Finance Minister and Premier, David Burt, last year launched a task force to deal with blockchain. It consisted of a legal and regulatory working group that ensured the country is steered towards a blockchain friendly-environment, especially for startups and other interested organizations. Hot on the heels of this taskforce however, is the recent introduction of an effort to regulate ICOs, and this will be a first in the history of blockchain.

Bill Already Before Parliament

According to a statement from the official website, there is a bill which has already been proposed in front of the parliament. Burt talked about developments related to blockchain globally and also touched on cases of criminal activity noted in these areas. He reckons that as much as these violations were in place, the technology behind its existence could easily alter how “traditional methods” operate. As such, he says that this has necessitated the need to have a regulatory body from the government to set out rules and regulations of operation. This will ensure that each player operates as per the set guidelines even as they make progress in their projects. Burt says:

ICOs have been used to enhance existing product and service offerings and to develop and implement new ones, all without the added costs and burdens of having to hire expensive middlemen to arrange transactions … Bermuda has an opportunity to become a global leader in the Fintech space by being one of the first countries in the world to specifically regulate ICOs.

ICOs to Face Restricted Business Activity

In its bid to streamline its regulation, the government of Bermuda will be drafting a bill to adjust some of the existing laws. The Finance Minister will then permit ICOs, and that is when they will be given the green light to operate legally.

Before they can pass this obstacle, however, ICOs will be expected to provide information with regards to their roadmaps, people handling the project, future product development, soft caps or hard caps, and many others.

It should be noted that other countries have either imposed rules or completely banned such activities, but Burt seems to take a different approach, saying the country ought to come out of its comfort zone and embrace new technological innovation. As such, there was a request to the country’s parliament to discuss the matter, but there is no specific date on the statement. Burt believes that it is important that the country catches up with the trend and benefits from the opportunities brought about by the blockchain industry.

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

What do you think about Bermuda’s move to regulate ICOs? Is this a sign that governments are finally embracing blockchian and its related technology? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.