Author Archives: Jeremy Leese

Hot on the heels of the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (the “ICO Act”), which seeks to introduce a statutory framework for initial coin offerings (“ICOs”) and has now passed both the House of Assembly and the Senate, comes the tabling of the Digital Asset Business Act 2018 (the “DAB Act”).

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During April 2018, the Government of Bermuda tabled the Companies and Limited Liability Company (Initial Coin Offering) Amendment Act 2018 (the “ICO Act”), introducing a statutory framework for initial coin offerings (“ICOs”). By implementing this new legislation, the Bermuda Government is hoping to lay the foundation for the jurisdiction to become a leading global blockchain and ICO centre. The ICO Act regulates offerings of ‘digital assets’, which are meant to capture all of the various categories of digital coins and tokens (whether they be utility, securitized, equity or otherwise) being issued as ICOs and via token sales. The purpose of the ICO Act is to only regulate those ICOs and token sales which are public crowd funding or similar type projects. It is not intended to regulate either private sales or those which are engaged in the business of pure virtual currency issuances. Digital asset offerings will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of published regulations as well as ongoing supervision and compliance requirements, including AML/ATF.

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The recent Budget announcement by the Bermuda government included one significant policy proposal which has the power to provide a welcome stimulus to the Bermuda economy over the course of the coming years.  The Premier, also Minister of Finance, David Burt, indicated that a relaxation of the business ownership ‘60:40 rule’ was to be implemented to boost investment by non-Bermudians.

For those not familiar with this rule, Bermuda companies fall into two principal categories:

(i)  local companies, which are usually incorporated by Bermudians to trade primarily in Bermuda; and

(ii) exempted companies, which are usually incorporated by non-Bermudians for the purpose of conducting business outside of Bermuda.

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MJM advised on the HomeStart Programme, announced today by Clarien Bank and Bermuda Housing Corporation. The programme documentation was drafted by MJM’s Jeremy Leese, advising Clarien Bank.

Press coverage of the Programme can be viewed online on the Royal Gazette and Bernews websites.

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As I sat in my hotel room in New York in the early hours of Wednesday, 9th November 2016, having been awoken from my slumber by the screaming and cheering from across the road at the Hilton’s Trump Election Party, my first thought was that the world in which we live will most certainly change once President-Elect Trump vacates his golden palace for a White House early in the new year.

Change for sure, but for the better? And, if so, who is most likely to benefit? Much closer to home, what does it mean for us here in Bermuda?

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