Premier and Minister of Finance of Bermuda, David Burt, held a joint press conference with Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, April 27, 2018, to announce the signing of a partnership and MOU. The press conference was streamed live on Facebook, and a recording of the event can be viewed here.
Burt thanked the media, Madame President, and MP’s for attending before reading out a pre-prepared statement in which he said: “The Binance Group is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and an international leader in digital exchange development and fintech, with a market capitalization of US$1.3BN. Through the Binance Charity Foundation, the Group is committed to improving education [and] creating awareness in the development through the use of blockchain technology. Binance Labs are incubators to encourage greater innovation and scope for future investment in a variety of projects.”
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and partnership between Bermuda and Binance will include:
- $5 million from Binance Labs for investments in new Bermuda-based blockchain companies.
- Development of a Digital Asset Exchange in Bermuda, subject to all required legal and regulatory processes
- Build a compliance base for Binance with the creation of 40 jobs including employment for 30 local Bermudians
- Binance Foundation will provide up to $10 million to sponsor university-level training for Bermudians in blockchain technology development and compliance
After the island of Newfoundland voted to become part of Canada in 1949, Bermuda became the oldest remaining British overseas territory. Binance has a history of forming alliances with islands that have a British connection following their announcement in March 2018 that they would be opening an office in the former British colony of Malta.
During the live broadcast, the Binance CEO was asked how Bermuda compared with other jurisdictions globally regarding blockchain regulatory control. Zhao stated that Binance is building blockchain hubs on each continent, and they all have different levels of control, but “Bermuda is one of the strongest hubs.”
Zhao was also asked if the legal case against Binance by Sequoia for breach of an exclusivity agreement would impact the MOU with Bermuda. Zhao confirmed that this was the only legal case against Binance he was aware of, and the courts in Hong Kong had dismissed the case with Sequoia ordered to pay legal fees incurred by Binance.
Financial analyst, smartphone app designer, technical writer, and crypto enthusiast. Blockchain verified graduate of MOOC 9, DFIN-511: Introduction to Digital Currencies, run by the University of Nicosia.