A global view on the digital economy and sustainable finance, and gaining a better appreciation of the Cayman Islands’ strengths and opportunities as a result, were strong outcomes for the Cayman Islands delegation attending the Point Zero Forum in Switzerland.
Minister of Financial Services and Commerce, the Hon. André Ebanks, led the delegation to the invite-only, inaugural forum in Switzerland, from 21 to 23 June. Organisers invited the Cayman Islands following an impromptu discussion between Minister Ebanks and the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Chief Fintech Officer, Sopnandu Mohanty, during the Ministry’s May 2022 UK/EU engagement.
Minister Ebanks said valuable insights, from both presenters and during informal discussions, have helped to inform the way forward for the Cayman Islands on several matters related to the digital economy.
“A key takeaway was that, while no jurisdiction has fully mastered the regulation of virtual assets, the Cayman Islands has laid a strong foundation by incorporating global standards into our regulation,” he said.
“But we can’t sit back, because virtual assets are evolving rapidly,” Minister Ebanks noted. “This means the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA), which regulates the sector, will work with the Ministry to continue building our compliance framework and capacity.”
Accompanying Minister Ebanks was CIMA’s Managing Director Cindy Scotland, and Acting Deputy Managing Director, General Counsel, Angelina Partridge; Government’s Financial Services Representative to the UK, Gene DaCosta; and Cayman Enterprise City CEO Charlie Kirkconnell.
“It was beneficial to attend the inaugural Point Zero Forum to absorb a range of stakeholder perspectives on the need for suitable policy and regulation in respect of digital assets, and to engage with fellow regulators/policymakers on how to shape oversight of this rapidly developing sector,” Mrs Scotland said.
Minister Ebanks said the forum further highlighted strong synergies between the digital economy, ESG and fintech, singling out the vast use of blockchain technology and its potential applications in many other areas.
“It’s also apparent that to build our ESG framework successfully and efficiently, fintech can play a pivotal role - for example, through the use of enhanced data analytics,” he said.
The Swiss Secretariat for International Finance, and Elevandi (a company set up by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to advance fintech in the digital economy) organised Point Forum. Attendees, Including global leaders, founders and investors, agreed that stronger cross-jurisdictional collaboration between regulators is necessary, to keep pace with developments.