The British government’s newly-established cryptocurrency task force has held its first meeting ahead of assessing what, if any, regulation is required for the broad crypto and blockchain sector.
The UK government’s ‘Cryptoassets Task Force’ – comprised of Her Majesty’s Treasury alongside the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (the central bank and the financial regulator respectively) – agreed over a handful of key objectives during its first meeting on Monday.
As reported previously, the British government established the task force in March as a part of its broader ‘FinTech Sector Strategy’ to understand both risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies, as well as exploring applications of blockchain technology.
Monday’s meeting was attended by senior government figures and financial regulators including Katharine Braddick, director general of financial services at HM Treasury, Bank of England deputy governor Dave Ramsden and FCA chief Andrew Bailey.
In laying out the group’s objectives, the task force agreed to:
- Explore the impact of cryptoassets (cryptocurrencies)
- Understand the benefits and challenges of blockchain technology in financial services; and
- “Assessing what, if any, regulation is required in response.”
FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey added:
“Cryptoassets have been an area of increasing interest for markets and regulators globally including the FCA. We look forward to working with our counterparts at the Bank of England and the Treasury as part of the taskforce to develop thinking and policy on cryptoassets.”
Accordingly, the Taskforce will look toward already-existing research and analysis by the UK government and regulators.
The high-profile working group will also notably be open to “new views” from academics, consumer groups, trade bodies and individuals invested in the sector.
“The technologies that underpin cryptoassets have the potential to deliver benefits both to the financial system and to the economy it serves,” Bank of England deputy governor Dave Ramsden said, putting the spotlight on blockchain technology.
The central bank official added:
“This taskforce will enable us to work closely with the Treasury and the FCA to explore how the opportunities posed by these technologies can be realised, while also tackling the risks arising from cryptoassets.”
The Taskforce is scheduled to host a more comprehensive roundtable to discuss cryptocurrencies and its underlying technology in July ahead of its report to be published in Q3 2018.
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