Martha Myron

Optimism for our crypto future

  • Lucrative agreement: David Burt signs a memorandum of understanding with Zhao Changpeng, CEO of Binance (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Crypto exchange: a glance at the Binance trading platform

The Bermuda Government’s initiative in formalising relationships within the digital currency world culminated last week with the tabling of the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018, along with the new Virtual Currencies Act.

Close after, the equally significant signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) was executed between our Premier, David Burt, for the Government of Bermuda, Zhao Changpeng, CEO, and Yi He, the co-founder of Binance.

Optimism is high for this venture with hope for equitable profitability for all primary parties, ancillary Bermuda businesses and new jobs spectrum choices for Bermuda residents.

Binance is an international multi-language cryptocurrency exchange company overarched by Mr Zhao’s Beijie Technology.

The name derives from binary and finance, a clever play on two so important modern-day, co-reliant global business functions.

Mr Zhao had previously founded Fusion Systems in 2005 in Shanghai, building high-frequency trading systems for brokers. In 2013, he joined Blockchain.info as the third member of the cryptocurrency wallet’s team. His prior experience as CTO at OKCoin, a spot trading platform.

Yi He, one of the most respected and influentials persons in the Chinese internet industry, has prior experiences as head of marketing for the virtual currency exchange OKCoin and previously vice-president of Yixia Technology, a 20 billion renminbi company.

Binance is also the name of the cryptocoin BNB, which launched an initial coin offering in July 2017 — topping $15 million in start-up funding.

Since then, the meteoric rise in the value of the BNB token has taken it into the top 30 cryptocurrencies in the world by market capitalisation. The crypto world media has noticed.

According to JD Alois, in CrowdfundInsider: “Crypto exchanges, and Binance specifically, are big businesses these days. It has been estimated that Binance generates around $3.5 million in fees each day. Earnings for Q1 2018 were pegged at around $150 million.”

Bermuda’s Virtual Currency Act has attracted global attention. Finder (ww.finder.com.au), Australia’s largest comparison site, headlined “Bermuda’s Virtual Currency Business Act was carefully designed to be a global model for cryptocurrency regulation.”

One of the experts behind the bill, Loretta Joseph, OECD Think Tank leader and chair of the Australian Digital Commerce Association, stated that “Bermuda’s Virtual Currency Business Act (VCBA) managed to strike a unique balance, offering enough certainty for today, enough flexibility for tomorrow and effective consumer protections along the way.

“The Virtual Currency Business Act includes extensive consumer protection so that the BMA (Bermuda Monetary Authority) can protect its citizens. However, it also has enough regulation that allows the ecosystem to flourish without consequences of not knowing what will be down the road, if the law is going to change on them or the regulations are going to change.”

The Binance website exchange trading platform operating in real time is fascinating and intimidating, all at once. Why that should be seems somewhat irrational, given that numerous investment sites have long featured in real time, such as BATS and Tradingview.

The forex platform Oanda’s real-time live spreads in listed pairs most closely resembles Binance’s active exchange that currently carries more than 1,300 different ICO choices and positions, a larger number than currency exchanges.

Digital coins bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash, EOS, cardano, and litecoin hold the highest market capitalisation, bitcoin alone at more than $160 billion. At snapshot, bitcoin valued at $9,438, ethereum at $748.07 and Ripple at $0.872071.

The firm’s site emphasises safety, stability, multiple devices, high-speed 1.4 million per second order processing, multi-languages, high liquidity and multi-coin support.

Then, next week, we laypersons head back to basics to learn about cryptocurrency in order to grasp the importance of the digital currency affect on our everyday lives.

• How do Binance and other exchanges work?

• What happens if digital systems crash or are hacked, and we can’t get enough paper money? Sweden has real concerns now about their — almost — paperless cash economy.

• Will our banks convert / de-convert Bermuda dollars to cryptos?

• Will there be sufficient legitimate retailers, service firms, financing institutions to accept ICOs that I will never have to convert back to regular currency?

• What does a crypto company do with my dollars? Do they pay interest? Will my ICO’s value fluctuate — can it be controlled?

• Why would you want ICOs when you are used to good old fashioned paper/coin money?

• How will Bermuda and Bermudians benefit (or be disadvantaged) by this new thing?

• Will this initiative create more jobs, or just different jobs? What skills do I need?

Back to basics. Next week. What does this brave new world do for and to our community? So many more questions than answers.

We are so accustomed to traditional currency — handling all those boats, birds, and blossoms on tangible paper money. What do we do now? Spend more time — heads down, glued perpetually to our smart phones? What about those who do not, or cannot afford to, have smart-tech?

Readers, this is our whole new finance world, one that we can only just begin to grasp.

One thing for sure — you had better brush up on your maths. Excellence in maths — counting and computing decimal points on an ICO share cost in a rapid-fire trading environment — is an absolute necessity!

Bermuda digital currency will now become a regular monthly Moneywise feature.

Sources

From Zero To Crypto Billionaire In Under A Year: Meet The Founder Of Binance: Pamela Ambler, February 28, 2018, https://goo.gl/TZkZ35

Yi He, One of the OKCoin’s Co-Founders, Joins Binance: Gola Yashu, August 8, 2017, https://goo.gl/uFiyqr

Binance: Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binance

Bermuda advances cryptocurrency regulation while Binance invests $15 million in the country, https://goo.gl/STVXQv

The Royal Gazette: Historic signing of virtual currency deal, https://goo.gl/8P1t3J

Bermuda law tabled in Parliament: The Companies And Limited Liability Company (initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018, https://goo.gl/MvjGqV

Virtual Currency Business Act 2018, Br/ 2018, https://goo.gl/KM4eW8

Martha Harris Myron CPA, JSM: Masters of Law in International Tax and Financial Services. Dual citizen: Bermudian/US. Pondstraddler Life™, financial perspectives for Bermuda islanders and their globally mobile connections on the Great Atlantic Pond

The Bermuda Realistic Retirement Reviewer™, personal financial columnist for The Royal Gazette. Contact marthamyron@gmail.com