Bermuda: The Innovation Island
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Bermuda: An Ideal Environment for Innovation and Digital Companies to Grow
Bermuda has nimbly positioned itself at the forefront of digital transformation. Innovation is in Bermuda’s DNA — indeed, some refer to the country as the “Innovation Island” because of its drive for progress and its forward-thinking business ecosystem.
This support for innovation extends from Bermuda’s business community to its highest levels of government. And as a leader in the innovation realm, Bermuda regularly engages with leaders around the world to exchange ideas and discuss the changes that are shaping business industries. Bermuda hosted the widely acclaimed global 2020 Bermuda Tech Summit, attracting more than 700 registrants from 36 countries, which focused on digital transformation and the ways businesses and industries are evolving due to technological advancements and changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
At this event, global leaders discussed how we are living in one of the most exciting times for finance, as it is undergoing generational changes due in large part to the technological advancements of digital currencies. These digital advancements are creating gaps that need to be filled, such as insuring digital assets. As an insurance hub, Bermuda is poised to become a leader in addressing these digital gaps and revolutionising the insurance and reinsurance industries, and the island has already undertaken initiatives in this space.
This isn’t the first time Bermuda has created a leading progressive ecosystem — just as it established itself as a global leader in the (re)insurance industry, Bermuda now sits at the vanguard of progressive digital asset regulation.
In 2018, Bermuda was one of the first countries to pass comprehensive legislation for digital asset businesses and initial coin offerings, which provides regulatory clarity, investor confidence, and compliance. That legislation has since been updated to keep pace with the dynamic and fast-changing industry developments and innovations.
The island’s efforts to establish primacy in the digital assets sector started with two fundamental pieces of legislation: the Digital Asset Business Act of 2018 (DABA), one of the world’s first pieces of legislation that developed a system for regulating new and existing digital asset businesses, and the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) legislation of 2018 designed to facilitate the issuance of digital assets.
DABA was amended just a year later (Digital Asset Business Amendment Act 2019) to expand the scope of the licensing regime to include digital assets derivatives, digital asset benchmark administrators, and digital asset trust service providers. Meanwhile, the ICO legislation was replaced by the Digital Asset Issuance Act 2020, which puts all digital asset issuances under the purview of the country’s financial regulator, the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), further strengthening Bermuda’s framework and investor confidence.
The result of this forward-thinking legislation: Bermuda boasts a globally connected business community that’s conducive to digital asset companies looking to set up shop with a single regulator in a thriving environment.
To further encourage technological progress, the BMA operates two innovation tracks, the Regulatory Sandbox and the Innovation Hub. These tracks allow disruptive companies to test new methods and technologies in a collaborative “sandbox” where Bermuda’s world-class regulator can help them evolve before they venture into the marketplace.
Given this dynamic environment, it is no wonder that Bermuda has attracted leading disruptive fintech, digital asset, and insurtech enterprises to its pristine North Atlantic locale.
For those seeking to do business in Bermuda — or just interested in sampling the country’s inimitable combination of high-functioning business and comfortable island living — the country now offers a Work from Bermuda Certificate, which allows digital nomads and remote-working professionals to live and work from the island for a year.
Those coming to Bermuda will find a country that punches well above its weight — its world-class business community teems with experienced and internationally trained professionals, including lawyers, accountants, administrators, bankers, and independent directors. The deep talent pool means there is significant expertise in regulatory management and international business on the island.
To smooth your entry onto the island, the Bermuda Business Development Agency’s concierge service provides unparalleled personalised service that includes networking opportunities, introductions to Bermuda business leaders, assistance with permits and licencing issues, and much more.
With the necessary infrastructure in place to facilitate virtual meetings and operational resilience, Bermuda is open for business and we are ready to connect you with government, the regulator, and our international business community. And thanks to the strength of Bermuda’s response to COVID-19, visitors are actively welcomed and, because Bermuda’s capital city of Hamilton is just one square mile, you can meet with everyone you need all in the same day while enjoying the safe and sophisticated island lifestyle on offer.