On a rare, positive note from government level with regards to cryptocurrency in the UK, according to Business Insider, John Glen MP, the City Minister, has today discussed plans for a “flourishing cryptocurrency exchange” in London, stating that he believes there is very little risk presented to the UK by the current cryptocurrency markets (finally!).
This comes after recent news from the Bank of England who have made it fairly clear that they wish to clamp down on cryptocurrency within the UK and more recently, the establishment of the new ‘Cryptocurrency Task Force’ by Chancellor Philip Hammond at the end of March 2018.
The task force has been set up to include Members of Parliament, the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority in an attempt to manage the risks presented by cryptocurrency in the UK, and, to harness any potential benefits that cryptocurrency also presents.
Glen has spoken of the benefits of a regulated cryptocurrency exchange flourishing in London and has made his position very clear with regards to where he stands on the subject. According to Business Insider, he has said:
“We are seeing great excitement, some wariness, and also I think some misunderstandings. We remain agnostic and are engaged in trying to find the right narrative and the right level of regulation if that’s appropriate.”
Glen recognises that there is a lot of uncertainty around the benefits that cryptocurrencies have to offer sovereign territories, but he also recognises that regulation can of course offset these uncertainties. By establishing a large exchange in the capital, Glen not only sees the financial benefits of this but also sees that it could offer an element of liberation to the UK economy, giving citizens more opportunity to get involved within a regulated cryptocurrency market.
Regulation is of course something a lot of cryptocurrency ambassadors are totally against, I believe that Glen does recognise this. His words do not overtly mention this, but I get the sense that he feels a compromise could be made, one in which still ensures the freedom and transparency of cryptocurrency but does not put the UK Government or it’s economy at risk, something that many MP’s are worried about.
In saying that the current market poses no risks to the UK, Glen recognises that now seems to be the time to set up a regulated exchange, in line with the development of the new cryptocurrency task force and in line with the promising scope that cryptocurrency is looking to offer. Glen has said:
“I think it’s right that we take appropriate — not really cautious, but proportionate — steps to evaluate it before we act as a government.”
I think this is a sentiment we can all agree with.
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