Coin and cryptocurrency exchange Arbitrade is bringing its world headquarters to Bermuda.
The company, which is also in the process of buying solid gold casts of Nelson Mandela’s hands, palm and fist for $10 million, held “strategic meetings with several major countries” in January and February before deciding where to domicile.
It chose Bermuda after a number of visits to the island, and meetings with David Burt and other members of the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Monetary Authority and the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
Arbitrade said it is registered on the island and expects to be a legally licensed and insured company in Bermuda later this month.
“The company made numerous visits over several months and a considerable amount of work was done to securing our incorporation,” Leonard Schutzman, chairman of Arbitrade, said in a statement.
“Bermuda is justly regarded as the gold standard in the fintech and reinsurance industries globally and Arbitrade’s goal was always to domicile its head office in this exacting jurisdiction before registering subsidiaries in other countries around the world.”
Once it is legally licensed in Bermuda, Arbitrade intends to commence an eight-week initial coin offering, followed by the launch of the Arbitrade platform in late August and early September. The ICO could be the first to take place in Bermuda after the passing of ICO legislation by the Government, which is expected to happen in the coming weeks.
In his statement, Mr Schutzman said the company welcomed the cryptocurrency legislation and associated regulations “that form a strong foundation in developing the best strategies to advance its business model into other countries”.
He said Arbitrade also welcomed the stringent know-your-customer and anti-money-laundering process.
“It seemed to us the only way our industry will receive global acceptance. With this thoughtful and timely structure of Bermuda’s laws to guide and support us, Arbitrade can now move forward into over 12 additional countries quickly and then continue to introduce our platforms to more jurisdictions,” he said.
Arbitrade held a presentation about its business at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on May 31. The event was attended by the Premier who, in a tweet the same day, said: “The team demonstrated their cryptocurrency platform and explained plans to create more job opportunities in Bermuda for Bermudians.”
Arbitrade plans to be “in all segments of the cryptocurrency business, including currency mining, trading, gift cards, debit cards, money transfer and points of sale processing”.
Last Friday, the House of Assembly passed the Digital Asset Business Act 2018. Referring to the legislation in his statement, Mr Schutzman said: “This thoughtful and timely action demonstrates, once again, why Bermuda is a world leader in regulating financially related services. The progressive legislation sets the highest standards for those companies who have chosen to establish digital assets businesses on the island and validates the company’s decision to incorporate and domicile our global headquarters in Bermuda.”
A separate and unusual piece of company news is Arbitrade’s decision to agree to buy the Nelson Mandela Golden Hands Collection. The collection consists of solid gold casts made of Mr Mandela’s hands, palm and fist. Arbitrade completed the $2.5 million purchase of the first item, a cast of the former South African president’s fist, last month.