Circle to Base International Operations From New Bermudan Entity

Samuel Haig

On July 22, Circle announced that it has launched a new subsidiary in the self-governing British Overseas Territory of Bermuda.

The company stated that it plans to “serve non-US Poloniex customers” from its Bermuda operations, with the transitional process planned for the coming weeks. Despite the shift toward its new Bermudan entity, Circle plans to continue its existing operations in the United States (US), Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.

Circle was granted a ‘Class F’ license under the Bermudan Digital Assets Business Act of 2018 (DABA), with the Circle describing itself as “the first major crypto finance company” to receive the permit. The company plans to expand the staff at its Bermuda office to more than 30 within the next two years.

Circle also expects that non-US customers will be able to use Poloniex via the Circle International Bermuda entity in “the near term.”

Circle Praises Bermudan Cryptocurrency Regulations

In a statement, Circle commented Bermuda’s regulatory apparatus pertaining to cryptocurrencies, describing the DABA as “an exceptionally well designed and comprehensive framework” that recognizes that “digital assets represent a new class of assets that cannot be shoehorned into legacy regulatory frameworks.”

The company added that the DABA “enables technical and business innovation” while also enforcing “high regulatory and supervisory standards,” including “one of the strongest regimes in the world for anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) in ways that are compliant with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.”

Gus Coldebella, Circle’s chief legal officer, told Forbes that the company considered several different jurisdictions before deciding that Bermuda was “a perfect fit.” Mr. Coldebella stated:

Under the DABA license, Circle will be able to operate a suite of regulated crypto financial services for our international customer base, including expanded digital asset product offerings.

Circle also commended the Bermudan premier, David Burt, and officials from the Bermuda Monetary Authority for their “embrace of the digital asset industry,” adding “We’re confident that working with a visionary and highly-respected government partner will open the door to more growth and innovation.”

Premier Burt welcomed Circle to Bermuda, stating: “We look forward to working closely with Circle [...]  We believe we have established a top standard of regulatory confidence which will help guide other jurisdictions on how to appropriately manage the risks associated with this industry while reaping the rewards offered by the efficiencies and opportunities that will be driven by the digitization and democratization of finance.”