Burt ‘convinced’ of island’s commitment to fintech despite FTX collapse – The Royal Gazette
Created: 16 November 2022 08:06
FTX’s business logo at the FTX Arena in Miami
David Burt remains “convinced” of Bermuda’s commitment to fintech, even as the crash of a major Bahamas-based cryptocurrency trader raised doubts globally about the industry.
The Premier has taken to social media in the wake of the implosion of FTX Trading Ltd, formerly the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, tweeting that the fallout had been “far-reaching” and that he was “very sad”.
Burt noted that neither FTX nor crypto trader Alameda, also founded by American investor Samuel Bankman-Fried, were “based or licensed” in Bermuda.
But he emphasized the island’s years of experience in regulating digital assets as the island seeks to “help chart that course” despite the global shock of the demise of FTX.
“Regulation plays a role in providing checks and balances,” Burt wrote in a series of tweets.
“Under proper supervision, risk can be reduced but not eliminated. Disclosure is important so that these risks are clear, and supervision is essential to ensure that risks are reasonably controlled.
“We remain committed to the long-term innovation and benefits that will come from this experimental new industry.
“We also recognize the need for a recognized, steady and experienced hand to guide it and remain convinced that Bermuda is well suited to chart that course.”
FTX filed for bankruptcy last Friday, taking with it Alameda, which has been implicated in the collapse with balance sheets revealed to be heavily backed by FTX tokens.
The collapse of what many around the world saw as a promising investment in an emerging industry cast a pall over digital commerce.
Bermuda moved forward in 2017 under the Progressive Labor Party government to take the lead in regulating cryptocurrency and blockchain businesses.
Fintech Development: David Burt (file photo)
Alongside fintech, insurance and reinsurance technologies have evolved rapidly – with profound implications for an industry that grew into a mainstay of Bermuda’s international business sector.
Burt has repeatedly linked fintech construction on the island to a generation of new Bermudian jobs.
On Twitter, he highlighted the island’s “decades of experience managing risk in the insurance industry”, maintaining the experience carried over to digital asset regulation.
The island hosted a technology summit last month where Burt said the island had to balance innovation with “keenly” guarding its reputation.
In his Twitter posts, Mr. Burt wrote that cryptocurrency was “reinventing and rediscovering” finance.
“It repeats some mistakes while providing curious new insights and evolving rapidly.”
Burt added that he looked forward to “ongoing engagement with the industry”.