UK Minister Announces “Deeper Look” at Crypto in Bid to Preserve London Edge

UK Minister Announces “Deeper Look” at Crypto in Bid to Preserve London Edge

According to the British junior finance minister and minister for the City of London, John Glen, the British government and its regulators will be taking a much deeper look at cryptocurrencies and ICO activity.

In a speech to the Innovate Finance conference he said that government “ … will announce further work with the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England to consider these issues in more detail.

In the Shadow of Brexit

While he acknowledged the potential of blockchain, the “explosion of growth” in the industry could bring with it risks.

The British government is keen to keep the financial sector on side, particularly with Brexit looming. As such it wants to minimise interference in one of its leading industries, especially as some might otherwise move to continental Europe.

According to Glen, “the UK is the best place in the world for fintech and my mandate is to ensure it remains such.” On the potential for these firms to be wooed by the French government, he said that Paris was “a great city” but that it was best enjoyed as a weekend Eurostar trip before returning to London to “ … carry on making money and crack on as you have been.

Nicky Morgan MP also spoke at the conference this afternoon. Ms Morgan is chair of the Treasury Select Committee and is also conducting an investigation into cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Like Glen, her challenge is trying to keep Britain’s competitive advantage in finance while protecting its customers and investors. 

British financial regulators have so far been fairly calm about cryptocurrencies and ICO activity. Mark Carney, chair of both the Bank of England and the Financial Stability Board, said this weekend that crypto-assets, “do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time.