The block chain and cryptocurrency sectors that have been developing and gaining ground in Barbados with little Government involvement, could soon see regulations coming.
Minister of Industry and International Business Donville Inniss said features of cryptocurrencies such as the anonymous nature of doing transactions; fast and global and transactions completed in minutes in any part of the world, and no Central Bank or big brother to control things, were good attributes.
However, he said the debate should be on who would regulate it, whether the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the Central Bank or some other entity, but one could not run away from the discussion. He also urged financial technology companies to work with regulators to develop the framework around which standards would be built.
Inniss was speaking at the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) FinTech Seminar on the Barbados Blockchain Beach at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last Friday.
Meanwhile, CARICOM director of Nuco Global Inc., Roland Haggins, said from a regulatory perspective, Barbados was ready and open for business.
“We already have an amazing regulatory environment. The Central Bank of Barbados, if you look at our banking supervision department, is probably one of the best in the world and we have an amazing FSC. So now as a country we face the challenge of developing a regulatory environment and policy that will not stifle innovation but allow to flourish,” Haggins said.
He said developments in the sector had led to investment flowing into Barbados, with Bitt.com having raised US$4 million in 2016 and a further US$3 million this year through further investment. It had employed 50 people and might expand to over 100 in the next year.
Haggins said more than US$100 million was raised in the past year, and those businesses were worth hundreds of millions of dollars and would be employing hundreds of Barbadians by yearend