Insurance and fintech will continue to converge, predicts Burt
Bermuda will continue to see convergence between the insurance industry and the digital asset sector, according to Bermuda Premier David Burt.
Burt, speaking at the opening session of the Bermuda Tech Summit yesterday, said Bermuda’s different business sectors could also play a role in tackling climate change.
In a “seaside chat” with Sandra Ro, the chief executive of the Global Blockchain Business Council, Burt said Bermuda’s reputation for insurance innovation is well established and he reiterated that every single insurance innovation in the last 30 years had happened in Bermuda.
Noting that the Bermuda Monetary Authority had a reputation as a regulator to be tough but fair, he said the environment was ripe for innovation in climate change.
“We have seen convergence between financial sectors,” he added. “We have seen convergence in the insurance sector and digital assets.”
Ro noted that the United Nations had recently reached out to the private sector to seek help with climate problems and reaching its sustainable development goals and asked if the private sector had a role to pay in addition to states.
Burt said he had met with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris last week and said Bermuda’s relationship with the OECD went beyond financial services.
“The UN and the OECD are all in the area of sharing expertise,” he said. “We believe we have expertise to share on insurance and on the digital asset side.
“We know Bermuda can’t have it all, but we can share,” he said, adding the island would ultimately benefit.
Asked about investment and scaling, the Premier said Bermuda’s did not try to be all things to all people. “Our aim is to attract high quality companies,” he said.
Speaking more broadly about fintech, he said Bermuda’s Digital Asset Business Act clearly defined digital assets as a separate asset class prevented confusion which had occurred in other jurisdictions. He noted that the legislation was necessarily broad and allowed for tokenisation of assets.
He noted Bermuda already had one company – Triangle Digital – which had a platform for tokenising real world assets.
Ro noted that partly as a result of regulatory confusion in the US, some companies were looking offshore.
Burt agreed, and said people were becoming more aware of what Bermuda had to offer when large companies such as Coinbase moving to the island.
But he said Bermuda was also aware of its limitations.
“Bermuda will struggle to be all things to all people,” he said. “That has never been our plan.”
Instead, he said Bermuda’s aim was to attract high quality companies to the island.
Turning to artificial intelligence, Burt said data verification would be a key concern as it evolved.
He also said Bermuda would be introducing a digital identity service act, adding he saw digital identity regulation as a regulatory problem, not a tech problem.