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Freeport to host blockchain conference

The Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference was officially announced by Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister Kwasi Thompson for June 20-22 during a press conference May 24, 2018. 

Monday, May 28, 2018
Monday, May 28, 2018

The Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference was officially announced by Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister Kwasi Thompson during a press conference at Pelican Bay May 24, 2018.

The conference, scheduled to be held June 20-22 at the Grand Lucayan, was described by Minister Thompson as, “our coming out party” for blockchain and FinTech.

It is anticipated that representatives from 500 companies will converge on Grand Bahama, where investors and entrepreneurs will meet.

Stating that Grand Bahama is suited to be the technology hub of the region, the Minister added that the first technology summit held in November hosted some of the finest minds.

“The Technology Summit was instrumental in beginning the strategic process of building a technology sector in The Bahamas. The government has since begun implementing recommendations of the Steering Committee to make this technology hub a reality. And I want to particularly thank Dr Donovan Moxey who heads the GB Tech Hub Steering Committee.”

“One such recommendation, which we are now implementing, is the hosting of a major international conference, which will bring hundreds of tech companies to Grand Bahama. This was one of their first recommendations and we are implementing one of their first recommendations.”

He added: “The committee also recommended that this conference take the form of a venture conference to establish The Bahamas as a global player in introducing venture investors to seed stage and early stage companies. Basically, putting the entrepreneur and the investor together and seeking to make and build relationships.”

Announcing plans for the upcoming conference, the Minister said, “I’m pleased to announce the Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference, BBCC for short, which is designed to attract investors, entrepreneurs and service providers and tech companies from all over the world who are focused on making investments, starting and developing companies and building business relationships with blockchain technology.”

“Further, the BBCC will provide The Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama, with an opportunity to present itself to the world as a jurisdiction that has an established framework, financial and immigration policies that are favourable for technology and FinTech companies that want to incorporate and be domiciled here in The Bahamas.”

Some of the topics to be discussed will be: The Technology Sector of The Bahamas is Open for Business; Why Should We Invest in The Bahamas; A Global Perspective on Regulatory Framework for CryptoCurrency and ICOs; and What Does the Future Look Like for Blockchain, CrytoCurrency and FinTech Solutions.

“We also anticipate that this conference will serve to present Freeport, Grand Bahama as an ideal location to establish offices and global headquarters for new technology companies.”

Featured will be “high powered” speakers, even one or two of Forbes’s CryptoCurrency Billionaires list.

Sponsors of the event include Aliv, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, BTC, Cable Bahamas, Grand Bahama Power Company, and GIBC.

“The government also believes that it is critical to not only talk about Grand Bahama and all we have to offer, but to open our doors and welcome the global community to see for themselves and dialogue with the local business community.”

It is highly anticipated that the hosting of the conference will have an immediate impact on the local economy with the filling of hotel rooms, use of taxis, restaurants, tours and everything else the island has to offer. Minister Thompson noted that it is important that the island show the visitors why Grand Bahama is the right place to invest.

“Grand Bahama is open for business and we welcome our international business representatives to discover what our island has to offer.”

He encouraged Bahamian business persons and aspiring entrepreneurs to be a part of the conference.

The Bahamas was been removed from the European Union’s list of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes following a positive technical recommendation from the EU Code of Conduct Group, which has been formally adopted by the Council of European Union Finance Ministers.

During his address to the Institute of Internal Auditors May 25, Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest said that the government is looking to strengthen the country's cadre of VAT auditors, as well as promoting "transparency, integrity and accountability" in business.

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