UK Leaders Want to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
Theresa May, UK’s prime minister, has said that we need to start “looking at [cryptocurrencies] very seriously”. She seems to be concerned that they’re being used by criminals. Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, stated that the UK needs to create tighter regulations around crypto-trading. He did, however, point out that the blockchain technology underpinning cryptocurrencies could be quite useful. Both May and Hammond issued these statements while attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The UK is certainly not alone when it comes to voicing concerns against cryptocurrencies being used for illicit activities. As reported earlier by Core Media, France and Germany have decided to initiate a joint effort to place tighter controls around their country’s crypto-related activity. Meanwhile, China and South Korea, where crypto-trading is at its peak, have also been cracking down on crypto-trading.
The Need to Regulate Crypto Before It’s “Too Late”
Hammond went on to assert that he was actually interested in bitcoin. He stressed the fact that the Bank of England had “been leading on looking at Bitcoin”. This might be true because there were reports earlier that the country’s central bank has been researching cryptocurrencies, and might even create its own cryptocurrency. According to Hammond, cryptos are “an interesting new development”. However, he adds that we need to be “cautious” and set up regulations soon. He also feels that this needs to happen before bitcoin and other cryptos become so “large” that they begin to significantly impact the 74 trillion dollar global economy.
Clearly, the crypto-market has a long way to go before this could happen. In fact, the entire crypto-market has yet to hit even the $1 trillion mark (CoinMarketCap). When regulating cryptocurrencies, we should make sure that we do not impede the healthy growth and improvement of crypto-technology, according to Hammond.
The Bigger Picture
Theresa May pointed out that when the UK leaves the European Union, she would like more tech companies to start coming to the country. In her opinion, her country offers a business-friendly environment. Furthermore, she believes that her nation “already has a leading edge” when it comes to Artificial Intelligence. This might be a bit of an exaggeration according to various reports. The reality is that the United Kingdom’s level of economic productivity has been declining.
If May and Hammond want their country to regulate cryptocurrencies, then they should look to experts in the field to guide them. If regulations are put together by people who don’t know much about how cryptos work, then UK’s economy might miss out on benefitting from the booming crypto-market in the foreseeable future.