Bitcoin and regulation are two topics which will never mix well. No one should be surprised by this news, as regulating decentralized technology is virtually impossible. Barclays bank is looking to change that trend by urging the UK government to undertake regulatory action against Bitcoin and related service providers.
Barclays and FCA Are Optimistic About Bitcoin
Over the past few years, there have been numerous attempts to regulate Bitcoin. So far, none of these efforts have been overly successful. The worst attempt is BitLicense, which effectively forced Bitcoin companies to leave New York state. It now appears the UK government may want to look into regulating Bitcoin as well. Or that is what Barclays CEO Ashok Vaswani feels, at least.
In his opinion, Bitcoin regulation is directly needed in the UK. It is good to see Barclays engage in an open dialog with the UK regulators. Having the “support” of such a major bank can prove to be invaluable. Until a year or so ago, banks would try to harm Bitcoin through regulation, that no longer appears to be the case.
It is still too early to tell what this dialog entails exactly. However, it seems the objective is to safely regulate Bitcoin and its associated activities by service providers. Having a line of communication between Barclays and the UK regulators will be quite beneficial in the end. The FCA, which oversees regulation of the financial sector is seemingly open-minded when it comes to cryptocurrency.
For the time being, it appears there is “cautious optimism” regarding the future of Bitcoin regulation. That is a rather vague statement, but it goes to show the end result may not be as negative as some people would expect. More specifically, it appears the FCA has no intention of outlawing Bitcoin any time soon.
Right now, the UK market is quite open minded toward both cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are not seen as a threat, which is a good starting point. There is always a reason to be cautious when it comes to unregulated financial instruments, though. Coming up with some form of regulatory measures for Bitcoin would be a good start, to say the least.
The future plans of Barclays and UK regulators remain shrouded in mystery for now. It is possible we will find out more information over the coming months. It is important to keep in mind the UK is not looking to hinder Bitcoin, by the look of things. Nor does it mean Bitcoin will be considered legal in the UK anytime soon. The future is uncertain, but it looks OK for now. These are interesting times for cryptocurrency in the UK.
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