No Access to Mainstream Payment Applications, Bermuda Goes Crypto

Richard  |  Feb 4, 2020

The government of Bermuda is considering blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption to enhance financial inclusion. The 60,000 residents island country have no access to mainstream payment applications;  such as Revolut, Square Cash and PayPal.

Chief Fintech advisor Denis Pitcher told officials that the system will enable residents to transact in digital currency.  A move that will effectively bridge the Island economy to leading global economies. Pitcher said that Bermuda launched a comprehensive regulatory framework around cryptocurrency back in 2018. The advisor hopes that a blockchain system will help residents spend cryptocurrencies they receive from government services, which would eventually open up to overseas economies. 

Bermuda and USD Coin

In fact, the government began accepting local tax payment in cryptocurrencies. This move allowed residents to pay for government services through USD Coin (USDC). 

A partnership between Circle and leading exchange Coinbase saw the birth of the USDC stablecoin in 2016. The USD coin has established itself in the market pretty well to become the second leading dollar-pegged asset after USDT (Tether). Both firms ensure that the stablecoin is strictly regulated and that its minting is under control. 

Denis Pitcher lamented the Island’s exclusion from accessing financial services. He pointed out that the history of Bermuda positions it in better understanding financial services. For instance, he noted that they cannot gain access to the Apple Store, make online purchases or gifts. 

“Our history allows us to really understand financial services. 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.”

Nonetheless, Pitcher believes cryptocurrency will provide an opportunity for businesses to grow in the Island. He noted that taxi and tourism operators would have a place to actually spend the money they earn. Hence, preventing the Island from slipping back to a conservatism financial system.

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