Island Nations Emerge as Regulatory Leaders in Growing Fintech Markets
By: Samantha Joule Fow
On October 18th, the government of Bermuda announced that it had approved the first ICO project any applicant had submitted under the nation’s new fintech regulatory regime. This represents an important step forward for the expansion of cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial services in the Caribbean, which has long been valued as a hub of financial activities. And if the growing acceptance of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in the island nations are any indication of the times, we’re sure to see better fintech regulations emerge on the world stage. This is a critical step forward for the mainstreaming of cryptocurrency across the globe, a critical goal for Halo Platform and the rest of the innovators working hard to bring the benefits of financial technology to everyone.
Blockchain in the Islands
Uulala, a U.S. based fintech company, recently became the first company to commence a government-approved ICO in Bermuda. Uulala moved forward with the capital raise after gaining approval from the country’s government regulator. The ICO project took around four months to review, and its approval is conditioned upon the project following Bermuda’s new regulatory framework.
Many cryptocurrency advocates are hopeful that Uulala’s success in the Caribbean foreshadows good things for fintech development in the islands. This can bring valuable financial services to populations who lack access to mainstream banking Oscar Garcia, Uulala’s CEO, stated that Uulala is owned predominantly by Latinos and targets Latino users without access to mainstream financial services. It’s possible that this positive social impact weighed in on the ICO approval decision, but by no means is Uulala running a charity. The company has already raised $10 million of its $50 million capital raise goal for its ICO, and it’s hoping to cash in on the untapped financial services markets in rural parts of the Caribbean and Latin America.
Bermuda has been leading the game in the Caribbean blockchain cryptocurrency markets, and the island has taken a bold stance on the mainstreaming of blockchain currency and digital coin trade. The country recently passed a law allowing for accelerated approval of ICO projects and currently has a law in-the-works to facilitate opening even more opportunities for altcoin traders.
Garcia emphasized that Uulala was particularly attracted to Bermuda as a strategic location for growing its business. This is due to the nation’s strong reputation as a financial focal point and for its forward-thinking strategies involving blockchain currency and fintech. The blockchain and cryptocurrency markets are still maturing, and they need good incubators to assist help them join the mainstream. However, blockchain currency firms are leery to start operations within countries that have yet to define their fintech regulations clearly.
In FinTech Regulation, Clarity is Key
Countries around the world are beginning to accept the fact that blockchain-powered digital coins are a legitimate currency. Islands, such as Bermuda, have been the driving force behind this movement - but they aren’t alone. Other nations that rely on robust financial services such as Malta, Antigua, and Barbuda are attracting more and more blockchain and cryptocurrency exchange platforms due to their favorable regulatory conditions.
One of the most exciting things about the fintech revolution is the fact that it’s cross-jurisdictional. Blockchain technology can provide people with financial services that they desperately need without the interference of international boundaries. However, one of the most significant challenges facing today’s cryptocurrency market is the variation in digital coin regulation across most countries. Countries that maintain clear cut rules and regulations on digital coin exchange, are attracting cryptocoin firms from all over the world. Bermuda’s regulatory advancement represents a huge step in the right direction for the mainstreaming of digital coin and blockchain-based currency.
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