AUSTIN, Texas — Licensed crypto firms in Bermuda have come together to form the jurisdiction’s first digital asset industry association, according to Bermuda’s Premier David Burt.

“The formation of Bermuda’s first trade association for licensed digital asset businesses is a significant milestone in the development of Bermuda’s fintech industry,” Burt said in a statement.

The premier announced the creation of the association, called Next, at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2022.

“[Crypto companies] not seeking regulatory changes because we have regulatory clarity. It’s more about how can they support the growth support the development, support educational initiatives” to improve the environment, Burt told CoinDesk before his speech.

The British Overseas Territory has sought to establish itself as a digital asset hub. From testing a digital dollar last year, to approving a license for its first digital asset bank, Jewel, on Tuesday, Bermuda is seemingly pressing forward with its plans to build a comprehensive crypto ecosystem.

Next is currently made up of 14 digital asset companies that have been licensed by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), including Apex Group, Bittrex, BlockFi, Circle and the newly licensed Jewel. According to an announcement shared with CoinDesk, the mission of the association is to help shape the British Overseas Territory’s digital asset legislation and support initiatives to enhance its digital asset ecosystem.

“Digital asset companies seek Bermuda’s regulatory jurisdiction because of its proven track record where there is a single regulator that does not move the goal post on companies,” said Tim Reed, a member of Next’s co-founder committee, in an email to CoinDesk.

Next plans to help shape legislation around specific issues, such as taxes or stablecoins, on a case-by-case basis, Reed said. He added that Next has already completed its first session with the BMA and was allowed to provide real-time feedback before a policy on “Operational Cyber Risk Management and Custody Code of Practice” was finalized.

“The BMA was excited about the level of engagement and found the feedback helpful in viewing their policies through a collective business lens,” Reed said.

Jack Schickler contributed reporting.


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