News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda, October 17, 2019 – Premier David Burt officially opened the Bermuda Tech Summit yesterday and announced the country would begin accepting 1:1 US dollar-backed digital currencies for the payment of government taxes, fees and services as part of its efforts to ensure Bermuda continues to lead the development of the global fintech industry.
Throughout the day, more than 300 attendees, a third of whom travelled to Bermuda from overseas, heard from an impressive array of expert speakers who discussed the transformational impact of technology on investment and business models in a wide range of industry sectors relevant to Bermuda. The Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) hosted the free-to-attend summit, titled ‘Focused on the Future,’ in partnership with FinTech Bermuda.
“Technology is the future. If you look at five of the six largest companies in the world today, they are technology companies,” said Premier Burt during the opening keynote conversation with Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire. “We know that embracing new technology is necessary for the future growth of our economy, and so, in Bermuda, we are making sure that we are leading the world in facilitating innovation. If existing and new businesses cannot innovate in Bermuda, they will find other jurisdictions to innovate meaning Bermuda will lose out on opportunities. It is essential that Bermuda remains a centre of innovation and continues to improve our competitive advantage in financial services.”
On why he chose Bermuda to operate his business, Jeremy Allaire said: “To build our international business we needed to find a jurisdiction that understood the breadth of digital assets and the scope of what we want to achieve. Bermuda is way ahead than any other country in this regard. As the adoption of digital currencies becomes mainstream, countries like Bermuda who are participating in the innovation stand to benefit and are helping to create a world where the exchange of value is as efficient, free and open as the exchange of information, knowledge and content is today.”
Keynote speaker Terence Mills, CEO of Al.io and a member of the Forbes Technology Council contributing on the topic of artificial intelligence (AI), spoke to a packed room about the future of work, and the challenges and potential of integrating AI into workflows. He gave an engaging presentation on using technology to drive efficiencies with the U.S. healthcare system as an example case.
Other panels highlighted relevant themes such as the increasing demand from customers for connectivity in hospitality, remote working as a future business model in place of an office and thinking inclusively when it comes to building technological infrastructure. It was clear based on discussions throughout the day that realising the grand promise of innovation and new technology requires a collaborative effort and support from both the public and private sectors.
“The tech-savvy and modern business approach that Bermuda is inculcating serves to enhance our appeal in the eyes of the next generation of business leaders, investors and high-net-worths,” said BDA CEO Roland Andy Burrows during his welcome remarks. “Bermuda has long been a domicile of choice for insurance, asset management and trusts amongst many other industries, thanks to the stability, quality and ease of doing business it offers. A combination of these same features, along with our future-focused approach, are now attracting technologists and innovators, the likes of whom are with us today.”
The Bermuda Tech Summit was the capstone event of the inaugural Bermuda Tech Week 2019, which continues tomorrow with Tech Beach Retreat, which is being held in Bermuda for the first time.
Sponsors and partners throughout the week include 24 Exchange, Appleby, Argo Group, Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Bermuda Tourism Authority, Blockchain Triangle, Blockchain Radio, ChainThat, Circle, Conyers, Google, Gosling’s, Swan Group, The Royal Gazette, Walkers and Xceedance.
Learn more about Bermuda Tech Week 2019 by visiting www.bermudatechweek.bm.