News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda – Bermudian, Ms Waheedah Mahasin Zarif, recently attended the 2019 Consensus Conference in New York, after receiving a grant from the Diversity in Blockchain Program and travel arrangements provided by the Cabinet Office.

The biggest event of the blockchain calendar, Consensus is the annual gathering of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology world and was held May 13 – 15, 2019. Diversity in Blockchain is committed to creating equal, open and inclusive opportunities in the blockchain industry. Their mission is to empower everyone from all walks of life to engage with blockchain technology in order to ensure equal participation and distribution.

Ms Zarif has been enrolled in the Fintech Business Unit (FBU) Education Program as a student since February 2019 and applied for the grant from Diversity in Blockchain which covers all passes to Consensus and Construct 2019. She was one of 220 awards given to attend through the Diversity Program.

Ms Zarif said: “I am most grateful to the FBU and the Bermuda Government for assisting with my training and my airfare costs to Consensus/Construct 2019. It was an amazing event and I really got to experience first-hand this dynamic industry. It was definitely an opportunity of a life-time.”

“The event read like a who’s who in the industry with all the major stakeholders having a physical presence at Consensus 2019. I felt like I died and went to heaven early. I was awarded a grant to attend the event at a cost of $1999.00 by Diversity in Blockchain on the Coindesk website.”

“The Fintech Business Unit was instrumental in assisting me with securing travel arrangements from the Government. I am indebted to them for providing my airfare to Consensus 2019 and assisting with my Fintech training.”

“I went to every booth and talked to people about the Fintech space in Bermuda. I explained the key factors for relocating to Bermuda, like our legislation, our relationship with Signature Bank, excellent service providers, ACAMS Compliance Officers and a no-nonsense Bermuda Monetary Authority.”

“I let everyone that I networked with at Consensus and Construct know that the Premier was hosting a reception on May 14 and I told them they should all come to the event to hear why it is better to operate a digital currency, blockchain or fintech business in Bermuda.”

“I met my idol, ‘Castro,’ a gifted software developer and hacker from Github. He told me to continue to study coding and to continue to attend events like Consensus where I could get valuable information on this new technology-Blockchain, Fintech and Digital Currency as more women were needed in this business.”

“There was so much information placed at my fingertips, at Consensus and Construct 2019, about this new technology that I love so much. I received an invitation to attend a Post-Consensus Breakfast with Jeff Pulver hosted by Skrumbles to launch GAX. I presented Jeff with gift bags from the Fintech Bermuda Business Unit at the breakfast. He was very thankful.”

“This is really exciting news. Ms Zarif is a dynamic lady who has embraced the Fintech training with enthusiasm and is keen to further her Fintech education. She was very helpful in supporting the team while at the Consensus Conference,” said Premier David Burt. “This is an incredible opportunity realized through this Government’s policies. We set out to provide educational opportunities for Bermudians; down to the airfare which was secured through the business travel initiative which we instituted to benefit students.”

Premier David Burt, accompanied by Finance Minister Curtis Dickinson and Bermuda Business Development Agency CEO Andy Burrows, led a group of regulatory and industry representatives to the annual three-day midtown conference which attracted 4,500 attendees, including major sponsoring companies such as IBM, Deloitte, Microsoft, Citi, RBC and eBay. Along with a business development team from the BDA were Assistant Financial Secretary Stephen Gift, Chief Fintech Advisor to the Premier Denis Pitcher, and fintech experts from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), Deloitte Bermuda, PwC Bermuda, and global law firms Appleby, Conyers, and Walkers.