HAMILTON, Bermuda — David Burt, premier and minister of finance of Bermuda, has announced three significant developments in the island’s economy over the last few days:
1. SS&P Global Ratings has upgraded its outlook on Bermuda to positive and also affirmed Bermuda’s A+ long-term sovereign credit and senior unsecured debt ratings as well as it’s a-1 short-term ratings and its AA+ and convertibility assessment. This is the first outlook upgrade by a leading credit agency in Bermuda’s financial rating since 2010. The revised outlook follows a period of positive real economic growth, and expectations of a continuing trend for the next two years, combined with a narrowing of the fiscal deficit.
2. Bermuda has launched a series of initiatives to define a ‘third pillar’, in the form of fintech and virtual currency capabilities, in its economy alongside insurance/reinsurance and related financial services and tourism. The first public announcement is of a strategic partnership with Binance Group, an international leader in digital exchange development and fintech, with a market capitalisation of US$1.3 billion.
Binance proposes to a) develop its compliance base in Bermuda, creating at least 40 jobs; b) sponsor university-level training for Bermudians in blockchain technology development and compliance in an amount up to US$10 million, and to make US$5million available for investment in new Bermuda based blockchain companies. As soon as practicable, the intention is to develop a Digital Asset Exchange in Bermuda subject to all required legal and regulatory processes.
3. Similarly, Bermuda signed an MOU with Medici Ventures, which was formed to incubate, launch, and invest in blockchain investments in the most fundamental processes such as blockchain-meets-land-titling, blockchain-meets-central-banking, blockchain-meets-capital-markets, blockchain-meets-voting, and blockchain-meets-healthcare.
Medici Ventures will a) make Bermuda its laboratory for the most leading edge blockchain innovations coming out of its stable of a dozen blockchain firms; b) create at least 30 jobs in Bermuda over three years; c) as soon as practicable, develop a security token trading platform in Bermuda subject to all required legal and regulatory processes; and d) Focus its social contribution in Bermuda on nurturing a proper pipeline for creating basic, intermediate, and advanced software development engineers.