With all the attention Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been getting recently, it's really no surprise that the governments of the world are getting involved. Typically that's involved increased regulation to prevent the digital currencies being used for criminal activities, but the Treasury has just announced the formation of a "Cryptoassets Task Force".
The whole thing is a joint endeavour between the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority. The idea is to harness the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies and their associated technologies, while similarly assessing and manging any risks they pose.
This news come shortly after Coinbase, one of the most popular and accessible cryptocurrency exchanges, was granted an e-money licence for UK-based operations. Apparently the UK was Europe's fastest growing adopter of cryptocurrency, which is one of the reasons why its come to the UK rather than a different country that isn't planning on leaving the EU. So it makes sense that our financial authorities have been paying attention to everything that's going on and act accordingly.
Phillip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:
“From the Square Mile in London to Scotland’s Silicon Glen, the UK leads the world in harnessing the power of fintech as we create an economy fit for the future.
I am committed to helping the sector grow and flourish, and our ambitious sector strategy sets out how we will ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of the digital revolution. As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology.”
The Treasury also has plans for what it calls "robo-regulation" with the goal of creating software that allows companies to automatically comply with new rules - saving them both time and money by not having to implement them manually. [The Independent]