Fintech Firm Circle Leverages Oyster Consulting to Obtain Bermuda’s First Class F Digital Asset License
Circle and Oyster Consulting show the time is now for Bermuda’s dive into the Digital Assets industry.
Circle, an global crypto financial services company, engaged Oyster Consulting (Bermuda), to help guide them through a successful application process for the Class F license, and to provide compliance services for the future. In June 2019 Circle became first full-service crypto finance company with a trading desk, stable coin and exchange to be granted a Class F Digital Asset Business Act (DABA) license (a “full” license), not restricted to a specific time period. As more firms apply for DABA licenses, compliance consulting firms may see an increase in requests for guidance through the application process.
During recent testimony in a hearing entitled “Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain” before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire offered Bermuda’s Digital Assets Business Act as one other countries should emulate:
In Circle’s case, we have begun the process of moving our international-facing products and services into a licensed Bermuda entity. Bermuda’s forward-looking Digital Asset Business Act (DABA) provides a comprehensive regulatory framework for companies offering this new type of financial service. We believe that the approach the Bermuda government has taken can and should be emulated by other countries. Some of the positive aspects of their regulatory framework include:
- They have established a comprehensive national policy for digital assets businesses.
- Rather than try and fit digital assets into banking and payments or securities and investments laws, they established a new set of laws specific to digital assets, including a new set of definitions of what constitutes digital assets, reflecting the dynamic and multi-faceted nature of this new asset class.
- The licensing and supervisory framework is broad, spanning digital asset activities including storage and custody, payments, dealing and trading, and operating exchanges.
- Compared to a patchwork of regulators here in the United States, across the federal government and the states, there is a single regulator to supervise firms.
- There is an acknowledgement from both policymakers and regulators that this is a dynamic and fast moving field with constant technology and business model innovation, and they have committed to proactively working with industry to evolve the laws and supervisory requirements as the market grows and matures.
- The core of the risks they are focused on regulating are in our view the most important risks — enterprise risk, financial crimes risk, cyber security risk, and custody risk.
“We engaged Oyster Consulting to help us understand and navigate the application process and compliance requirements, from start to finish,” said Circle’s Chief Legal Officer, Gus Coldebella. “Their deep knowledge of the island’s regulatory framework and practice was a valuable asset, and we continue to use their compliance services to expand our presence on the island.”
Dale Jackson, Oyster Consulting (Bermuda) Managing Director adds, “Oyster is excited to be an integral part of the growing fintech industry on the island. As firms continue to come to Bermuda because of the island’s regulatory regime, Oyster will continue to provide its knowledge, expertise and quality service. Guiding our clients through the evolving regulatory and fintech landscape is important to us. We take pride in creating simplicity in a complex environment.”