Kickstarting a new wave of FinTech in The Bahamas

During a recent financial technology and digital assets virtual symposium hosted by the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration, a FinTech expert urged attendees to fully participate in the global cryptocurrency community and appreciate the economic factors and technical features driving the mushrooming cryptocurrency market capitalization.

Brian Jones, Leno Wealth Solutions Manager shared his experience and research as an industry expert while providing the framework for the other FinTech panelists to follow. “The US dollar has fallen against Bitcoin,” Jones said to the nearly 500 virtual attendees. “Even looking at gold, in a couple of months, we have taken another sharp downturn in terms of debasement. The point is there are unintended consequences and implications for countries like The Bahamas with US dollar-based exchange rates or national debt regimes. This means we tend to import US inflationary pressures, monetary debasement and reduced purchasing power. There is a real impact on us and this is why we need to be conscious and fully integrate into the global crypto community which is expanding tremendously.”

Jones’ presentation aligned with the Ministry’s vision for The Bahamas to increase awareness and to empower local stakeholders to further engage in FinTech and the new financial services industry.

“As the world undergoes a period of accelerated digital transformation, The Bahamas will not be left behind,” said Hon. Elsworth Johnson, Minster of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration.

“We are a small nation that has consistently punched above its weight in many respects when it comes to financial services, and there is no reason for FinTech to be any different.”

“But now with a different approach, technology can serve that purpose by offering smart contracts where law can become code and govern transactions and this can be organized from the bottom up so you don’t have financial institutions dictating how things should go,” Jones added. “It is touching new trends in the open global economy.”

Jones encouraged participants to pay attention to the emerging decentralized finance sector (Defi) because “it is growing tremendously, allowing for more borrowing, lending and trading. It relies on smart contracts on blockchains to offer automated financial instruments instead of rudimentary centralized financial intermediaries, democratizing wealth and is giving us the opportunity to try and transform the Bahamian and Caribbean economies to raise our standards of living.” Further noting that The Bahamas can be a leader in playing an integral role in the set-up of professional standards for best practices in the global cryptocurrency community.

The melting pot of panelists consisted of local, regional and international speakers who spoke to the legislation, regulation and practice of FinTech and digital assets in The Bahamas and the Caribbean. The Regulatory and Legal Panel included Christina Rolle, Executive Director Securities Commission; Christian Adderley, Head of Policy, Research & Compliance SCB; Aliya Allen, Partner Graham Thompson; Grace Lindo, Partner Carter Lindo in Jamaica. The FinTech panel included Brian Jones, Managing Director, Wealth Solutions Leno; Marvin Coleby, Co-Founder & CEO Raise-Kenya; Dr. P. Jillian Bethel, CEO Islandbit; C. Bobby Chen, Assistant Manager E-Solutions Central Bank of The Bahamas; Stefen Deleveaux, President, Caribbean Blockchain Alliance.

For a deeper dive on Bitcoin you can visit lenobahamas.com.