The Cayman Islands tech community has its sights set on blockchain and positioning the jurisdiction as a leader in the burgeoning sector.

George Town’s South West Collective was at capacity Wednesday night, June 19, as techies and entrepreneurs gathered for the launch of the Blockchain Association of the Cayman Islands, a group aimed at facilitating local development of the distributed ledger technology.

“The main purpose is to get everyone in the industry to work together to grow Cayman as a destination for blockchain projects. We’ve seen the technology grow and develop significantly in the past few years, with Facebook just announcing their own coin. This will definitely have an impact on Cayman as well,” said chairman Petri Basson.

Cayman is already home to several blockchain-oriented companies and initiatives, with blockchain meetups and conferences gaining momentum in recent years.

The association seeks to give structure and professional guidance to the sector. Founding member Brad Kruger said around a dozen people from diverse backgrounds have met over the last year to setup the organisation.

He said Cayman already has a well-established community of highly skilled, trained and educated professionals that can provide a supporting framework encompassing legal, accounting and financial services.

“Cayman has been starting to become a hub or centre of excellence in terms of innovation, particularly in the blockchain space. We want to promote it and increase the amount of business and the profile of the Cayman Islands for these types of businesses,” Kruger said, adding that he sees no serious blockchain competitor to Cayman in the Caribbean or offshore world.

The international nature of the Cayman Islands and the businesses that operate here makes the jurisdiction an ideal location for blockchain innovation, Kruger added.

“By nature, blockchain companies are international businesses and I think all the features of Cayman that make the island attractive for international business in the finance industry will also make it attractive for international business in the tech startup and blockchain industries,” he said.

The association offers two levels of membership, one for individuals and another for corporate members.

Individual members will have access to talks and events hosted by the organisation. Corporate members will have a member who represents them in the association and will have access to all of the events.

“Additionally, corporate members will be featured on our website to make it easier for companies who want to explore Cayman to find service providers. Corporate members will also be included in a quarterly town hall meeting where we will bring all industry participants together to discuss issues and work together as an industry,” Basson said.

Educational initiatives will be one of the main drivers of the association. Basson expects the group to host quarterly events featuring international speakers.

For more information about the group, visit https://caymanblockchain.org.