Technology can positively impact financial services, as well as the delivery of social services to the less fortunate, the Hon. André Ebanks said during the recent Cayman Islands Digital Economy Conference (CYDEC).
"Technology is a great platform to raise all in society, and Government's vision includes using these advances to create a more efficient Government," Minister Ebanks said.
Having ministerial responsibilities for both financial services and social development (as well as investment and innovation) helps provide the bridge for this to happen, he told CYDEC's 150 virtual attendees on 3 June.
Minister Ebanks' remarks focused on Cayman's progress in regulating virtual asset service providers (VASPs). The virtual assets sector is technology-based.
"The virtual asset sector in the jurisdiction is incredibly diverse, with service providers engaging in a wide range of services', Minister Ebanks said. 'Some of their noteworthy activities include operating trading platforms, offering custody of virtual assets, and facilitating payments in virtual assets'.
He noted that Cayman welcomes technological innovations and hopes to see digital advances tested and approved in the VASP regime before going on to make business within the financial services industry more efficient and, as a result, stimulate growth in the wider economy.
“Cayman’s digital future is bright; we are well poised to build efficiencies that ultimately make it easier for everyone to do business in the Cayman Islands," Minister Ebanks said.
As part of the growth to Cayman's economy, Minister Ebanks noted that technology could drive additional investment to the jurisdiction and create new opportunities for the local workforce with the creation of tech-focused jobs.
Minister Ebanks also has discussed technological efficiency in social services with his Cabinet colleagues. "We're considering digitising social services applications and benefits distribution. This can lead to better use of public funds, by getting benefits to those who need them quickly and efficiently," he said.
This was CYDEC's fourth consecutive annual conference, and its second held virtually. Its focus was on general financial technology innovations in Cayman.
In addition to Minister Ebanks' remarks, Director of E-Government Ian Tibbetts gave an overview of Cayman's proposed national digital ID programme. He also participated in a panel discussion with representatives from stock market trading platform Zimtra and IT company Salt Technology Group.
The Ministry of Financial Services and Commerce was CYDEC's title sponsor. The Ministries of Investment, Innovation and Social Development; and Tourism and Transport, also sponsored the conference.