Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator Kwasi Thompson announced Monday that the government is eager and pleased to host the first Bahamas Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference in Grand Bahama.
The minister encouraged Bahamians to register for the conference which is only a week away.
“The government has been very focused on ensuring that we progress with our tech hub initiative,” Thompson said.
“We believe in this initiative. We believe that this is going to do wonders for Grand Bahama. Direct benefit with this initiative has already been seen.”
GIBC Digital, he said, has to date employed 25 people and is scheduled to employ 25 more.
Thompson said government is pleased with the response to the conference both locally and internationally.
He added that the calibre of speakers shows the desire the country “has to be a part of the industry” and prove to international companies that Grand Bahama is open for business.
“Again, it is a marketing tool to allow the world to know that Grand Bahama is open, open for business and it is about diversifying our business here in Grand Bahama, which ultimately means providing more improvements to our economy and providing more jobs for Bahamians because, that really is the focus of this government,” he said.
Investment Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Omar Isaacs said, the conference focuses on opportunities for venture capitalists and some of the pitch presentation companies in attendance from around the world.
“A lot of persons have really looked towards the cryptocurrency portion of this, but we want to focus on the blockchain technology that allows for cryptocurrency to be exchanged,” Isaacs confirmed.
“Michael J. Casey and Anthony Di lorio are internationally known in this field and they explain what blockchain is all about.”
The conference has been described as a “hybrid” – one Isaacs said will “have a venture conference side”.
The event will bring venture capitalists from Los Angeles, Houston, Texas, New York and Canada to hear companies make their pitch.
“In addition to that, after they would have struck those deals, our investment officers will be right there with them to help them make that transition to bring their base of operations here to Grand Bahama,” he said.
The conference, which is scheduled to be opened by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, will be held June 20-22 at the Grand Lucayan resort.