“In the summer of 2018, we launched a comprehensive regulatory framework to provide clarity and leverage”, said Pitcher. “We introduced a principle-based framework that allowed us to define more of a scope around a business plan as opposed to specific activities. That allows you to have the flexibility to focus on managing risks of what’s new in this space.”
In what must have been a drastic change for Denis Pitcher, chief fintech advisor to the Premier of Bermuda, he and CoinDesk’s Michael Casey took to the chilly streets of Davos to talk about his government’s steps to enable blockchain adoption in the island nation.
Pitcher hopes to create a system that allows Bermudians to spend the digital currency they receive on government services and, in so doing, build a bridge to overseas economies.
“By allowing the government to accept it, it provides an opportunity for merchants to start saying, ‘Well, I can look at accepting digital dollars,’” he said. “So taxi operators, tourism operators, commercial businesses have a place to actually spend, which means that you’re not going to have to fall back to the traditional financial system.”
Pitcher hopes these systems will finally introduce ordinary Bermudians into the global financial ecosystem.
“Our history allows us to really understand financial services”, he said. “But the challenge that comes from this is that when it comes to access to financial services, Bermudians are largely excluded. We don’t have access to PayPal, Revolut or Square and in order to actually get access to the Apple App Store we buy credit or gift cards.”
“We’re too small”, he said. “Nobody cares about 60,000 people.”
With a digital currency plan, however, Pitcher believes the Bermuda will become more than just a financial product supplier and will, eventually, turn into a financial powerhouse of its own.
Belgian Finance Watchdog Ups List of Suspected Crypto Scams to 131
Belgium’s financial sector regulator has issued a fresh warning over suspected cryptocurrency scam websites, bringing its running list to 131 domains.
On Tuesday, the Financial Services and Markets Authority added 9 domains – including bitcoinmarketscap.com, bitcointraderspro.com, coinsmex.com, crypto-sfs.com, etc-markets.co, fisherih.com, ltc-markets.com, stsroyal.com and tdscapitalgroup.com – to the list of crypto trading platforms with “signs of fraud.”
The update comes following reports from Belgian consumers who fell victim to the scams, the agency said.
The FSMA noted that the anatomy of such frauds continues to be the same, with scammers promising riches in easy steps, regardless of prior knowledge of cryptocurrencies. But, it warned, “In the end, the result is always the same: the victims find themselves unable to recover their money!”
The regulator says frauds continue to occur, regardless of its past warnings.
The domains have not been shut down or blacklisted by the regulator. While this has occurred in the past – for example, coin mixing service bestmixer.io was shuttered this past spring by numerous European authorities – the FSMA does not have the ability to shut down sites it suspects of fraud.