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With the UK seeking to become a crypto hub, the Winklevoss twins are advising the UK government to not let itself be influenced by the politicisation of crypto in the US.
UK regulation is encouraging
The Winklevoss twins, American billionaire owners of the Gemini crypto exchange, are in London holding talks with various British financial bodies such as the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
While in London, the Gemini owners gave an interview to City A.M., in which they advised UK politicians not to “politicise” the government’s regulatory stance towards cryptocurrencies.
The Winklevoss twins were said to be “encouraged” by the direction the UK is taking on crypto regulation and were of the opinion that it was “forward thinking”. They said:
“We are encouraged [by] the state of regulation here. We know obviously the UK has a huge tradition of being a thoughtful regulator and a forward thinking regulator. And that’s why we chose to be here – there’s a lot of credibility,”
“We made that decision to invest here years ago, and we’re here to express that we want to continue to do that and make the UK a home for crypto.”
They remarked that they were “surprised” by the recent report by the UK Treasury Select Committee stating that cryptocurrencies should be treated as “gambling”, and made the comment that if this were the case then perhaps commodities like oil and gold might go into the same category.
Mixed noises from the UK financial institutions
The UK has so far made as many positive noises on crypto as it has negative, with Prime Minister Sunak declaring that the UK wished to become a worldwide hub for crypto (when he was Chancellor).
However, it would seem for a country so embedded in the traditional financial system, with its City banking operation one of the most powerful in the world, that to go the path of inviting crypto companies to set up shop there might be an extremely difficult route to take.
In the past, the governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, has called crypto “dangerous”, even while acknowledging that a lot of innovation was coming out of the sector. He has said that he doesn’t believe crypto will provide a future payments network.
The Bank of England is very pro a central bank digital currency (CBDC) which has many issues around privacy, although counter to what Europe is doing with MiCA, the BoE is considering zero-knowledge proofs in its implementation of a CBDC.
With the US likely to be applying pressure on the British government in the background, and with what has been termed an “overly bureaucratic regulatory environment” by CEO of Revolut, Nik Storonsky, as the BoE looks to be in the process of turning down a banking licence for the UK’s largest startup, the next few weeks and months are going to be critical for the UK’s fledging crypto sector.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.