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AG Outlines Digital Assets Legislation at STEP LATAM Conference in Panama

AG Outlines Digital Assets Legislation at STEP LATAM Conference in Panama

NASSAU, The Bahamas — With Financial Services playing a key role in the country’s economy, efforts continue to keep the sector progressive.  That includes incorporating new products, including trading in Digital Assets.  Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, the Hon. L. Ryan Pinder made these points at the STEP LATAM conference in Panama, September 22-23, 2022. 

STEP LATAM, which stands for Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Latin America, is a professional networking body that brings together professionals from a cross-section of businesses in the financial services sector. STEP provides education, training, representation and networking opportunities for its members, of which there are over 21,000 across 95 jurisdictions.

Minister Pinder outlined some of the country’s legislative agendae pertaining to financial services’ inclusion of digital asset regulation. After presenting a snapshot of the objectives and the legislation on the table, Minister noted the way forward for the country.

“I wish to mention three more items intrinsically linked to any successes we will enjoy in the future from our commitment to be in the vanguard of global digital assets regulation. The first is the understanding that there needs to be greater general and advanced knowledge and competence with regard to financial technology in The Bahamas, to support the talent base necessary to be industry leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs, coders, analysts, regulators, support staff, to write news and technical stories about developments in the space,” he said.  To meet this objective, he said that there would have to be collaborations and partnerships with other stakeholders. 

“To further this endeavour, the Commission intends to collaborate with the University of The Bahamas on three 8-week courses focused on the digital assets sector.  Attendees will earn a certificate upon successful completion of the course, which can be used to demonstrate to the Commission that the individual possesses the requisite education and knowledge to engage in DAB registrable activities in The Bahamas. In conjunction with this, the Digital Advisory Panel is working with the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services to build a sustainable curriculum for our domestic financial services talent to be knowledgeable, qualified and excel in the digital asset fin tech space,”  said Minister Pinder.

Another collaboration, he explained would be one with the Securities Commission of the Bahamas. “ The second is the Securities Commission of The Bahamas Fintech hub, SCB FITLink, which launched in 2019.  The hub is a central point for the Commission and the public to engage on digital assets business, crowdfunding, distributed ledger technology, and initial token offerings.  In addition to engagement with the public, FITLink facilitates regulatory consultation by helping fintech innovators and incumbents navigate the Digital Assets regulatory landscape, among other things, making the regulatory process understandable and efficient.”

He also invited the members to join the Bahamas in 2023, for the FinTech festival, which will be held at Atlantis Resort, January 2023: “Thirdly and finally, we are not being shy about telling the world what an amazing and wonderful legislative framework we have for digital assets business.  On that note, I take this opportunity to invite you all to D3 Bahamas, which will undoubtedly be the annual FinTech festival in the region. The date has been tentatively set for January 2023 at the Atlantis Resort and conference centre.”

He concluded by saying that The Bahamas is committed to being a major player in the financial services sector. “In order for a jurisdiction to be a preeminent player in the digital assets industry there must be confidence of a nimble regulator, a regulatory regime that is respected worldwide and incorporates real time best practices, and a commitment of government policy to advance the growth of the industry, assuring the jurisdiction is a safe place to do business that will do what is necessary to keep the bad actors out.  I am proud to say The Bahamas is an example of the success of the model.”

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