The sun-drenched paradise of Bermuda isn’t exactly the first country most people think of when they consider blockchain adoption, but that’s exactly what’s going on, as the tiny island announced the ability for its citizens to pay taxes and for government services in the stablecoin USDC. This development is less surprising however when it is remembered that Circle, the blockchain-focused financial company, expanded operations to the island nation in July in order to serve non-US Poloniex customers.
USD Coin ($USDC) continues to be embraced by those in the crypto ecosystem and those outside of it. https://t.co/HozJeftxYa
— Circle (@circlepay) October 16, 2019
Circle Joining the Dots
Circle announced the news on Wednesday, stating that the move was “part of a broader initiative from the Bermuda government aimed at supporting the use of USD-dollar backed stablecoins and decentralized finance protocols and services”. The announcement should also come as no surprise given that at the time of their expansion into the country, co-founders Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire spoke about their plan to “offer many new digital asset services from Bermuda over time.” They have clearly moved quickly in fostering their relationship with the Bermudan government to the point where the latter is accepting the USDC token so widely so early on, thanks in part, according to Neville and Allaire, to the government’s “exceptionally well designed and comprehensive regulatory framework.”
Bermuda Becoming the Real ‘Blockchain Island’
Bermuda landed a blockchain double whammy on Wednesday as they announced the trial of a blockchain-based electronic identification system with two companies – Shyft Network and Perseid Network. Perseid, a nation-state level identity program, will work with Shyft to use the latter’s public blockchain to create digital identity cards for residents that can be easily verified on a trustless system, ideal in the case of a major event like a natural disaster where locally stored records can easily be destroyed. A similar process is being used in The Bahamas, where blockchain technology is helping locate missing persons in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. Shyft praised the attitude of Bermudan premier E. David Burt for “relentlessness in bringing tech innovation to Bermuda”, and while nations like Malta are often keen to attribute themselves with the moniker of ‘blockchain island’, perhaps Bermuda is the first candidate to actually be worthy of the title.