Wednesday, Mar 20, 2019
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Govt in final phase of developing blockchain, cryptocurrency regs

The government is in the final phase of developing its regulatory framework for blockchain and cryptocurrency technology and intends to announce its position at the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference slated for next week in Grand Bahama.

Governments around the world have already introduced wide-ranging laws to regulate the evolving technology.

Dr. Donovan Moxey, who is the chairman of the technology hub committee in the Office of the Prime Minister, said before The Bahamas can take advantage of the economic opportunities associated with the technology, a number of guidelines are necessary.

“When you look at blockchain technology itself and where people are looking to get started and do business, exchanges are important, and you need rules that govern how exchanges are regulated. So right now The Bahamas is working on a regulatory framework for that, because we want to announce to the world that, if you’re coming here to set up an exchange, here are the rules around how that can happen,” he said in an interview with Guardian Business yesterday.

“Also, when you look at the rules for initial coin offerings (ICO), then there are rules around those things as well and defining whether something is a security token or a utility token, we have to have rules around that. So The Bahamas is going to announce its positions on rules around that.”

The government is banking on a successful conference in Freeport next week as it attempts to make the city a technology hub for the Caribbean.

Well-established companies in the technology world have been invited to attend the conference, from places like India, Lithuania, Canada, the United States, as well as The Bahamas and the Caribbean, to not only make presentations but to also pitch their startups to investors.

“What these innovators want is clear guidelines and frameworks so they know that if they come here and set up, they understand that this is how it’s going to work. Now obviously we’re in a very innovative and moving sort of technology environment, and sometimes the rules are going to change; but the whole hope is that you’re not going to stifle innovation,” Dr. Moxey said.

“You want to make sure you put rules in place that encourage entrepreneurship, investment and innovation. At the end of the day, the one thing we want to protect is our reputation.

“There are a number of business opportunities that blockchain affords us that The Bahamas can actually play in. One of the key things for us is obviously we want anyone in technology to come and relocate here in The Bahamas, so there are some things we’re working on right now that would make us very attractive to them and highlight the inherent advantage of Freeport, Grand Bahama.”

Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson has called the conference The Bahamas’ “coming out party”.


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