The great city of London, England, is bustling with activity in regards to the financial sector and Bitcoin is gaining more and more attention in that part of the world as well. With a US$5 trillion [a day] global currency market, London now also wants to become the home of one of the most disruptive technologies we have seen in the 21st century: Bitcoin.
British Authorities Supporting Bitcoin
One of the major hurdles to overcome in order to gain a foothold in any country is making sure the local government does not take up a negative stance towards your idea or technology. In the case of Bitcoin, this is a bit difficult to achieve, as there is no centralized representative who can plead his/her case with the government.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency which is being “driven” by the people who are part of the Bitcoin network. With no institution, government or central bank to control Bitcoin, it puts a major spin on the current financial infrastructure as we know it. Needless to say, most governments wouldn’t be too pleased about that idea.
In the United Kingdom, however, authorities have come out in support of the idea behind Bitcoin and digital currency, as they see the technological value that drives the idea. But, on the other hand, they are also trying to come up with proper regulations to prevent the use of Bitcoin and digital currency in crime-related matters.
Just last month, British authorities announced their plan to start working on a way to regulate digital currency exchanges – who make it possible to easily buy and sell Bitcoin – to prevent potential money-laundering efforts. Furthermore, the British authorities would like to be among the first to create a set of standards for cryptocurrencies.
The efforts made by London to become one of the world’s major fintech – financial technology – centers in the world is a direct result of the capital city’s traditional currency trading position. For the biggest part, all current financial trading routes through London in one way or another, as the city competes with the likes of San Francisco and New York to remain in the leading position.
Positive Attitude Towards Bitcoin & Digital Currency
With New York’s plans to create a “BitLicense” to regulate digital currency – which is a rather hostile attempt instead of giving a nod of approval to creating new technology in the financial sector – London could prove to be far more appealing to digital currency businesses in the near future.
“What we see in the UK… is a different attitude. It’s a very positive attitude, one of: this is an amazing innovation, we’re going to have to have some regulation in terms of money laundering, but let’s do this in a constructive way, in partnership with the technologists and the industry,” Jerry Brito, Executive Director of Coin Center told DigitalMoneyTimes.
While it is true that digital currencies such as Bitcoin make it easier for consumers to buy products and services anonymously – to a certain extent – it doesn’t do anything that you cannot do with cash currency right now. In fact, fiat currency is harder to trace and far easier to use for any illegal activities.
Bitcoin is a double-edged sword, as it disrupts the current financial ecosystem in ways no one had thought possible just a few years ago and, as such, there are a lot of misconceptions in the world about Bitcoin and digital currency – partially because of uneducated media spreading lies and half-truths.
But, on the other hand, this disruptive technology brings a lot of new jobs to all countries around the world, an aspect most local governments have been struggling with for the last five to eight years. On top of that, Bitcoin is still young, and there is a lot of room left for growth potential, which in turn will benefit any country keeping an open mind to digital currency.
All images courtesy of DollarPhotoClub