Bermuda, British Virgin Islands... Why crypto companies keep going there

Bermuda, British Virgin Islands... Why crypto companies keep going there

Despite their 'bad' image, some jurisdictions are still attracting a great deal of interest. Tax, and above all regulatory flexibility, have a lot to do with it.

Bermuda, its beaches, its coconut palms, and its... crypto companies. For several years now, the British archipelago located in the middle (or almost in the middle) of the Atlantic Ocean has been attracting players in the ecosystem. The latest to arrive is Coinbase. The American giant has just set up a trading platform for institutional players.

Bermuda is not the only 'exotic' destination for Exchanges and other web3 companies. This is also the case for Jersey and the British Virgin Islands, which attract suitors thanks to their tax, and above all their regulatory flexibility, whereas the United States, and even the European Union, do not necessarily offer a sufficiently favourable environment.

👉 Tax motives

The tax dimension plays a role for some players. Whether in Bermuda or the British Virgin Islands, there is no corporation tax and no capital tax for individuals. Companies have to pay an annual tax based on the amount of their net assets.

"This tax ranges from around 2,000 to 32,000 Bermudian dollars (one Bermudian dollar is worth around 0.9 euros)," explains Axel Sabban, a tax lawyer and partner at Revo Avocats.

However, this system has its limits, since to benefit from the taxation of these jurisdictions, you have to have activities on site. "If the operational centre, i.e. the teams and activity, is in Europe or the United States, the company will have to pay its taxes in Europe or the United States," points out Arnaud Touati, a partner at Hashtag Avocats.

Companies can therefore benefit from very advantageous taxation, but a letterbox is not enough. "The authorities are increasingly vigilant on this point," confirms a French investor.

👉 Regulatory motivations

The main explanation for the attractiveness of Bermuda and other "tax havens" is above all their regulatory flexibility. This concerns the creation of companies. "It's much simpler to set up a crypto company in Bermuda or Jersey", confirms a French player.

Flexibility on products is also put forward. In the case of Coinbase, this is what prompted the American giant to launch its derivatives platform in Bermuda and not in Europe. "They were able to do it in a few weeks, whereas in Europe it would have been almost impossible," explains Arnaud Touati.

Another point also comes up a lot: regulatory visibility. "Jurisdictions like the British Virgin Islands have plenty of defaults, but there is regulatory clarity on cryptos that allows a project to develop without fear of being shut down at any time," confides a London-based entrepreneur.

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