Most countries are on the verge of implementing measures to regulate Bitcoin companies. On one hand, some governments are willing to strictly regulate the companies, whereas others choose a more flexible stance. Over the years, the UK has remained the financial hub of Europe and as it is now, the country seems to be trending the same path for Bitcoin.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is currently enjoying his first trade mission in South East Asia since he was re-elected and he has mentioned the “usual culprits” like Rolls-Royce and Lloyd’s of London , but also Bitcoin company Blockchain.
The mention is a positive sign for the British Bitcoin industry, since the government is yet to take a strict stand on crypto-businesses. All the same, Bitcoin companies should wait for a money laundering regulation soon, even if the Bank of England has recently shared encouraging statements about cryptocurrency.
The fact that the UK decided to invite a Bitcoin company to the trade mission is a clear sign that the country is willing to support Bitcoin startups and becoming a cryptocurrency trade hub. At first sight, Blockchain is not the type of company you would expect to be included in an official government trip to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia and Vietnam.
[tweet_box design=”default”]Over the years, the UK has remained the financial hub of Europe and as it is now, the country seems to be trending the same path for Bitcoin.[/tweet_box]
The Bitcoin startup is increasingly growing alongside the evolution of Bitcoin. Over a period of six months, transactions involving Blockchain’s API and wallets have doubled and the company has garnered about four million users.
The prospect of FinTech 2020
While the UK plays a major role in the development of the global fintech industry (which contributes £20 billion to the country every year) and managed to attract 42 percent of all fintech-related investment in 2014, David Cameron is yet to be satisfied. To this effect, he has hosted FinTech 2020, an event that aims to make the United Kingdom the top location for about 25 international fintech leaders (be it by global market share, valuation or IPO).
Over the years, the UK, and especially London, has welcomed several financial technology companies. According to Accenture’s report, UK takes the lead in Europe when it comes to fintech investment. In the country, the investment rose by 136 percent in 2014 – from the $264 million of 2013 – to $623. Nevertheless, Silicon Valley takes the lion’s share in the sector, with $2 billion compared to Europe’s $1.48 billion.
UK aims to use FinTech 2020 as the platform for breaking the norm and to bring in several technology companies. Cameron is optimistic about this objective and his first move was to include fintech startups in the trade mission to South East Asia.
Cameron brings with him 31 business leaders drawn from all over UK, including an important delegation of fintech companies, such as Innovate Finance’s Iwoca and Ratesetter, as well as Al Rukies.
Does Bitcoin stand a chance?
This is a tricky question. However, policy makers in the UK are willing to start working with cryptocurrency and Bitcoin companies in London. They are already attracting the Bitcoin industry with various offers and the FinTech 2020 may be just one of them. In early 2014, Finance Minister George Osborne mentioned in his speech at Canary Wharf, in London, that the government has started assessing the potential of digital currencies like Bitcoin.
“These alternative payment systems are popular because they are quick, cheap and convenient – and I want to see whether we can make more use of them for the benefit of the UK economy and British consumers. I also want to be alert to the risks that accompany any new technology. With the right backing from the government, I believe we can make London the fintech capital of the world,” Chancellor George Osborne said,
Based on what is going on in the UK and the FinTech 2020, it is clear that the government wants to enable cryptocurrencies to work within a legal framework, while boosting the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the country.