As Initial Coin Offerings have been stacking up more than $3.5 billion this year so far, the government of Bermuda views the newly emerging phenomenon and the legal confusion it has provoked elsewhere as an economic opportunity.
The British Overseas Territory has set up a Blockchain Legal and Regulatory Working Group, an initiative aimed to examine various opportunities in the cryptocurrency ecosystem to make the Caribbean island a hospitable environment for “tokenised securities, cryptocurrencies and coin offerings“.
Bermuda has already established itself a controversial reputation on the international stage as a tax haven. Offering a stable social and political setting with government policy generally adopting a business-favourable posture, the country does not levy taxes on profits, income, dividends or capital gains.
Bermuda’s ICO Scene
Several prominent ICOs are already operating out of Bermuda including Unikrn, an e-sports startup that recently raised $30 million during its own token sale.
The country plans to strengthen its position as a hub for ICO projects as it sets out to draft a legislative framework for cryptocurrency startups. It is unclear at this stage if any eventual framework will incorporate measures to redress the instances of high risk and fraud associated with ICO / tokenised sale ventures.
The government intends to implement the new regulations as early as 2018 to gain first-mover advantage as other countries appear to dither on how best to address the broad range of questions and issues raised by the ICO phenomenon.