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Exec: Many fintech firms are considering The Bahamas because of regulatory regime

There are many fintech companies looking at setting up in The Bahamas because of the regulatory regime for digital assets put in place by the government, fintech executive Will Haskins told Guardian Business yesterday.

Haskins, who is the head of strategy and content at fintech and Web3 community platform Finoverse, said there are still many jurisdictions that do not have legislation allowing for the operation of a blockchain technology or cryptocurrency trading company.

He said The Bahamas, with its Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges (DARE) Act, continues to attract the attention of firms that cannot find any other regulated jurisdiction.

“If you look, for example, at what’s happening in the US right now, there is no legislative framework,” said Haskins.

“There is no clarity. One of the financial regulators has filed a number of lawsuits against its market participants and has been unsuccessful in some of those lawsuits.

“And if you look at that, for example, it’s a situation where there really isn’t clarity. There’s interest from large enterprises, there’s interest from individual investors, but there isn’t that framework in place.

“You can contrast that with what’s happening in The Bahamas. There clearly is a framework in place that’s been clarified again with the revised DARE Act.”

Haskins explained that while some jurisdictions are trying to attract fintech firms, those firms are limited in terms of the products they are allowed to offer. He said many of these jurisdictions still do not have the necessary legislation.

“Some of them have provided industry guidelines and some clarity around regulation,” said Haskins. “I think, like many new innovations, there’s a technical aspect, and there is a policy-making, political aspect. I think it’s something where with other jurisdictions, you know, there’s a question around, ‘okay, this is what the policy is right, now, how will that bear out over time?’. We’ve seen certain countries like Singapore, for example, encourage crypto companies to set up their blockchain companies, and then they decided that they didn’t want any retail trading of cryptocurrencies.”

He said there remains a large market for countries offering a safe harbor of regulations to investors and clients. According to Haskins, the desire is for people to set up in jurisdictions where they can get an official license.

“Some of them will find that in The Bahamas,” he said.