The newly formed Digital Advisory Panel will consider listing a modified Sand Dollar on an international digital asset/crypto currency exchange, Attorney General Ryan Pinder said yesterday.
The suggestion was a part of a list containing the advisory panel’s mandate to fulfill its obligations under the Digital Asset White Paper.
The mandate includes drafting further amendments to the Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Act; to provide an inclusive regime for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), stable coins and decentralized finance (DeFi); as well as proposed taxes, turnover fees or a levy framework; the creation of a risk management plan for the digital assets industry and country to contribute to keeping bad actors out; and possible data protection and intellectual property legislative reforms to support the industry.
The areas of the mandate geared toward consumer advancement include the
development of a framework to allow Bahamians to access digital assets in Bahamian dollars.
“This might envision a modification of the Sand Dollar and its listing on an international digital asset/cryptocurrency exchange, as well as recommendations as to consumer protection rules/regulations to provide necessary protection for Bahamian consumers in digital assets,” Pinder said in the Senate yesterday during debate on amendments to the DARE Act.
“We will work with the Ministry of Finance and Department of Inland Revenue to develop a framework whereby Bahamians can pay taxes using the Sand Dollar, and develop policies and programs that will promote wider use of Sand Dollars in commerce on the family of islands.”
Pinder said the advisory panel will also formulate policies and interactions to facilitate the banking of digital asset business.
“We will develop advice as to dispute settlement mechanisms such as arbitration,” he said.
“And develop incentives for more energy efficient digital assets such as those using proof of stake mechanisms, and the program of establishing a carbon market using DLT [distributed ledger technology] and operating within The Bahamas’ digital asset regime.”
The Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (Amendment) Bill, 2022, provides for the monitoring and sanctioning of persons carrying on or purporting to carry on digital asset business activities without the requisite registration pursuant to DARE and is necessary to support The Bahamas’ re-rating application to seek a compliant rating for Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendation 15.
“In addition to the amendment we debated today, we have undertaken additional measures, in cooperation with the Securities Commission, to provide a framework for the regulation of the digital assets business in The Bahamas. We will also submit the following in support for the re-rating exercise for Recommendation 15, the commission’s Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Countering the Financing of Proliferation) Rules, 2022, which were gazetted 16 May, 2022,” Pinder said.
“The commission’s 2022 approved inspections and AML/CFT/PF examinations listing; and the overview of the commission’s risk-based supervision framework, relevant to the oversight of DARE registrants. The passing of this amendment is not only important to be compliant with international best practices and strengthen our anti-money laundering regime, it is fundamental for the continued development of the financial services market, which naturally translates to strengthening the economic regime to bolster the middle class of the country. The reforms today, the focused implementation of the digital asset, fintech regime, will build on the successes and add to the story of The Bahamas as a financial center.”