Cayman Finance praises ground-breaking use of GitHub for consultation on proposed changes to virtual asset legislation 

Normally used for writing software code, the Ministry of Financial Services is using GitHub for the first time as a way participate in a consultation on proposed changes to Cayman’s Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) Act.

Cayman Finance is praising the Ministry of Financial Services for pioneering a first-of-its-kind legislative consultation process for proposed amendments to the Cayman Islands Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) Act. 

In a ground-breaking move, the Ministry has chosen to utilise GitHub, the world’s leading software coding collaboration platform, as one of the options to collate public feedback on the draft legislation.  

GitHub is an online collaboration tool that is well-respected and trusted by the international tech community and an intuitive platform for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) to provide feedback during the consultation process of this proposed legislation. 

Innovation and transparency 

Steve McIntosh, CEO of Cayman Finance, said this new approach to “open source” consultation reflects a commitment to innovation and transparency that are hallmarks of the Cayman Islands financial services industry. 

“GitHub makes it easy to propose and track edits to any text, a bit like collaborating on a Wikipedia article. While it is normally used for writing software code, it makes all the sense in the world to use GitHub for legislative consultation. After all, you could think of our laws as the source code for our national operating system. The more input we receive, the better the final version will be. And the easier we make it for stakeholders to provide that input, the more we will receive. It really is a win-win.”   

Global leadership in virtual assets 

The Cayman Islands is the world’s largest investment fund domicile after the United States and one of the most popular locations for funds with digital asset strategies. According to PWC, nearly 40% of traditional hedge funds invest in digital assets and Cayman is also home to leading companies in the so-called Web3 developer space including Chainlink and Sam Altman’s Worldcoin. 

Further growth in the sector is expected this year. Exchange-traded Bitcoin products were just approved by the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) in January and a Bitcoin “halving” is anticipated in April. Year-on-year Bitcoin value grew by more than 142% and some analysts have even suggested that growing inflows into virtual assets could threaten gold’s status as a leading store-of-value. 

By updating its legislation, the Cayman Islands is positioning itself to stay at the forefront of this burgeoning sector while maintaining appropriate regulatory safeguards. Utilising a tech-savvy consultation approach that fosters collaboration in a more efficient manner was a natural progression to consider for this new legislation. 

Soliciting expertise 

Cayman Finance encourages all interested parties, including industry stakeholders, legal experts, and members of the public, to participate in this consultation process on GitHub. Contributors can review the draft legislation, provide feedback, and engage in constructive dialogue to shape the future of VASP legislation in the Cayman Islands. 

To join the conversation and contribute to the consultation process, interested parties can visit the Ministry of Financial Services’ GitHub repository. Participants are encouraged to follow, star, or fork the repository to stay informed about updates and engage with the ongoing discussion. 

The comment period for proposed amendments to the jurisdiction’s Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP) Act closes on 3 April 2024. 

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