Following recent measures to prevent more enterprises from leaving the nation, U.K. crypto executives are cautiously enthusiastic about the country’s prospects of becoming a worldwide crypto powerhouse.
Her Majesty’s Treasury said last month that the United Kingdom intends to become a “global crypto hub,” in response to similar attempts by Switzerland and Dubai.
In addition, the government’s de facto crypto czar, Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen, has lately met with executives and policymakers in San Francisco, Washington, Brussels, Madrid, and Luxembourg.
Glen is scheduled to visit Zug, Switzerland’s “Crypto Valley,” which has enacted crypto-friendly regulations due to its regulatory independence from the EU.
“Whatever you think about Brexit, we’re now grasping the opportunities that it brings,” Glen previously stated. “This regulatory flexibility is crucial.”
Possibility of Brexit
Despite initially impeding efforts, these CEOs now believe that Brexit’s independence may have contributed to the country’s current efforts.
“There’s a great chance, particularly post-Brexit, for crypto to have legislation that will permit all of its core aspirations,” said Blair Halliday, the U.K. head of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.
A framework for digital assets became a low priority amid the regulatory congestion caused by the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union in 2016.
However, once regulators became aware, they attempted to regulate cryptocurrencies in the same way that they regulated traditional financial services, threatening to stifle innovation and pushing embryonic crypto firms offshore.
“A lot of these companies are pretty global, and they can shift to wherever is most convenient,” said Diana Biggs, chief strategy officer of crypto ETP provider DeFi Technologies.
However, as the EU tightens restrictions restricting crypto transfers, Brexit has provided Britain with a chance that officials have recently moved to embrace.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced harsher regulations for crypto marketing, while its temporary registration process for digital-asset enterprises resulted in over 80% of applicants withdrawing or being denied.
The FCA is now trying to develop clearer standards for crypto assets, as well as regulations for stablecoin issuers. The FCA convened a two-day seminar earlier this week to solicit comments from CEOs, researchers, and stakeholders on how to properly regulate the industry.
Gemini’s Halliday admitted that the country is in a “better position than ever” to reverse the trend.
“They’re not stifled or held back by having to consider these interim agreements and arrangements,” he said. “The foundation is in place. They may now examine the financial services sector and aggressively push forward.