(Bloomberg) -- Bermuda still has its welcome mat out for crypto businesses despite the industry’s recent turmoil, the head of the British island territory’s government said.  

The digital-asset market has faced one problem after another following the collapse of several companies last year, including Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, which is now at the center of one the highest-profile corporate crime cases in US history. US agencies have ramped up enforcement efforts amid calls for a crackdown. 

But E. David Burt, Bermuda’s premier and finance minister, said there are still a lot of benefits that can be reaped from digital assets and blockchain technology. 

“The future of finance is digital,” he told Bloomberg News in an interview. 

The events in the crypto market over the past several months have had a minimal impact on Bermuda, showing that the rules it has in place are working, Burt said. He recalled facing intense political pressure domestically before FTX’s collapse because the company chose the Bahamas instead of Bermuda as its headquarters. Yet the regulations are clear and aren’t going to change for any company, he said. 

“I think that approach has been vindicated,” Burt said. 

At the same time, risks have to be managed, he said. To do that, regulators around the world must work together to reach a common understanding and provide clarity rather than focus on enforcement, he added. 

Burt was in Washington this week meeting with US lawmakers and Biden administration officials to discuss these issues and Bermuda’s approach to regulation, as well as its finance and insurance industries. 

The self-governing territory was one of the first places to establish a regulatory framework for digital assets. That, plus the friendly reception from government officials in Bermuda, has made it an attractive destination for crypto businesses. There are currently 17 of them licensed in Bermuda, he said.


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