The Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA) is seeking public feedback on an anti-money laundering act that would capture cryptocurrencies.
In a newly released consultation paper published Thursday, the Caribbean financial regulator said it is aiming to capture a wide range of cryptocurrency-related activities under the local law in a bid to prepare a more formal framework that would attract and foster cryptocurrency businesses.
The suggested virtual currency act would mandate that cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet services, payment providers and businesses that promote and facilitate token sales and initial coin offerings, collect and retain customer information. Notably, regulation on ICO organizers is not part of the proposed act. Instead, the paper indicated that supervision over ICOs would fall under the scope of a separate rule.
In this way, government officials said that the proposed rules are not meant to prohibit the nascent industry in Bermuda. Rather, it's a move that seeks to develop a comprehensive framework that would offer cryptocurrency businesses a safer and stable environment.
According to a report by local media out the Royal Gazette Thursday, Bermuda's Minister of National Security Wayne Caines, who introduced the paper at an event with entrepreneurs, said the industry needs a well-rounded regulation before it can flourish.
Caines told attendees:
"We can't keep up with the amount of people who want to come to Bermuda. We're going to London at the weekend and we have 20 companies lined up to meet us. It's actually phenomenal."
In fact, through the proposal, the BMA is also exploring a sandbox-like licensing scheme that would give promising blockchain startups access to the market in a regulated environment.
Elsewhere in the report, the minister indicated a proposed law related to regulation on ICO activities is to follow the money laundering act, which, according to a previous report, is being drafted by the country's Finance Ministry.
Bitcoin and Bermuda flag via Shutterstock
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