With all the exciting news about our newest potential economic driver, financial technology, I must say I have been presented with a proliferation of information from numerous sources.
The Premier has had an impressive, whirlwind few months of foreign negotiations, and has announced the signing of various MOUs with a number of fintech companies which plan to have a presence on the island. There seems to be a cautious but positive buzz in the air, with regards to the potential this industry may have on the future of our economy.
One thing which has concerned me, however, is the amount of information regarding the Arbitrade deal, which has come from none other than Arbitrade itself; a company, which is not yet (as I write this letter) a Bermudian-registered company.
I note that Premier Burt is working on an amendment to the Banks and Deposit Companies Act 1999 which will allow fintech companies such as Arbitrade, to have a presence here, but it seems a little premature to me, that we have heard that this non-registered company, is purchasing commercial real estate in Hamilton, to set up their world headquarters and may store as much as $10 billion worth of gold bullion in Bermuda.
Things are obviously moving very quickly it seems, and it may just be, that Arbitrade “jumped the gun” in their announcements.
However, the internet can be a curse or a gift when it comes to getting information. I did listen to an audio clip of a recent press conference announcing this deal, where Troy Hogg, the founder of Arbitrade, made mention of some “adverse” claims regarding his past business dealings and assured those present that this would be clarified at a later date.
There are lots of moving parts here and I do hope that we will hear further details from the Government very soon. We are moving into unchartered waters and we’ve got only one chance to get this right. All we really have is our stellar reputation as a financial jurisdiction and it is now on the line.