British cryptocurrency trade association CryptoUK is urging MPs and the UK Treasury to regulate the industry in the country.
The self-regulatory body made up of eight members has been approaching influential MPs, seeking support for its proposals to have the market regulated by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
As previously reported by BitcoinNews, the FCA is taking cryptocurrencies into serious consideration for future discussions, as outlined in their 2018/19 Business Plan; MPs, the FCA and the UK Treasury Committee will be examining the potentially disruptive impact of blockchain and cryptocurrencies on financial institutions and financial infrastructure.
That said, they’ll also be inquiring into the future benefits of the technology, with UK MP Matt Hancock echoing positive sentiments toward the sector. At the London Blockchain Conference in mid-April, a point noting the UK Government’s Digital Strategy, is revealing of a real capacity to which the UK could become “the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business and to trial new technologies like blockchain”.
CryptoUK Advances Discussions
Chair of CryptoUK and UK managing director at trading platform eToro, Iqbal Gandham said:
“Introducing a requirement for the FCA to regulate the ‘on-off’ ramps between crypto and fiat currencies is well within the remit of HM Treasury. Based on our analysis, this could be achieved relatively easily, without the need for primary legislation, and would have a huge impact, both in reducing consumer risk and improving industry standards.”
The group believes that regulation should give focus to exchanges, brokers and trading platforms instead of the actual cryptocurrencies themselves; furthermore, they propose that the HM Treasury should draw up new permissions for FCA to control cryptocurrency investment.
CryptoUK is also proposing that FCA should be responsible for licensing approved exchanges and enforce new rules including anti-money laundering practices, examination of investors and operational standards.
Blockchain Technology “Pixie Dust” and “Magic Wands”
Contrary to the positive stories emerging from the United Kingdom in recent weeks, think tank director of the Center for Evidence-Based Management, Martin Walker, spoke at a Treasury Committee hearing on blockchain in the financial system, claiming:
“All that it takes to make a credible idea into a fad is people just switch off their brains and stop thinking. Over 20 years in and around the banking industry — blockchain is a fad, but I have seen many fads in my career. If 10 percent of what I’ve heard in my career had come true, we would have these amazing banks that run for £1 a week.”
What Walker fails to address is the far-reaching impacts the technology has beyond that of its predominant financial functions, and that the UK is taking proactive steps to fund and develop blockchain startups.