Following in the footsteps of regulation practices like BitLicense out of New York, the UK Treasury is seeking advice from members of the Bitcoin community to help further their understanding on regulation. According to The Guardian, the Treasury is asking for information from law enforcement agencies, financial regulators along with the general public and “FinTech” firms.
When asked for the purpose of these discussions, The Guardian reported that a Treasury spokesman said the following:
“We’re considering the potential benefits of digital currencies to customers and the technology that underpins them, and whether we should take action to support innovation in this area. We’re also looking at the potential risks, and assessing whether an action is required to address any concerns.”
In August, the Treasury launched a review supposedly planning to open their arms in the UK to digital currency, according to chancellor George Osborne. The study, yet to be completed, assesses the benefits and threats of Bitcoin to the UK’s economic structure:
“It’s only by harnessing innovations in finance, alongside our existing world-class knowledge and skills in financial services, that we’ll ensure Britain’s financial sector continues to meet the diverse needs of businesses and consumers, here and around the globe, and create the jobs and growth we all want to see in the future,” Osbourne said at Innovate Finance upon the announcement that the Treasury has eyes on the digital currency sector.
If there’s anyone that’s shown they can explain Bitcoin and digital currency as a whole on a lengthy scale that’s understandable and almost poetic, it’s Andreas Antonopoulos. He’s the Bitcoin evangelist and entrepreneur that sat before the Canadian Senate in early October. He fielded questions with ease, asking that bitcoin is not put in the same constraints of currently existing financial infrastructure.
After talking with skeptical senators, Andreas asked that bitcoin and digital currency technology be allowed to continue to evolve and expand for five more years. The idea was met with a positive tone by the Senate, but, of course, was not finalized during their meeting.
Andreas may be an evangelist, but he proves time and time again that his credibility outweighs his bias for the technology. He consistently finds ways to explain the technology in a sophisticated manner that’s entertaining to hear, without droning on in a monotone fashion.
“The ability to innovate without permission at the edge of the bitcoin network is the same fundamental force that has driven internet innovation for 20 years at a frenetic pace, creating enormous value for consumers, economic growth, opportunities, and jobs.”
Although most bitcoin users say Bitcoin needs to remain unregulated, the mere concept is nearly impossible. World governments have interests to protect, and a decentralized, unregulated global currency is something the world is experiencing for the first time.
The issue with regulations like BitLicense is that they’re viewing this decentralized currency on the same level as their centralized currencies’. The technology is completely revolutionary, requiring brand new laws if any; not the laws currently locking national currency infrastructures. This concept is only five years old, yet it’s evolving at an unprecedented pace. For it to become successful, governments should redefine their ideas of regulation completely and give it room to breathe.
The notion that it will remain completely unregulated by law is a concept that’s completely naive and unprecedented in today’s world. Bitcoin will continue to be banned by large countries not looking to embrace it, and it will stay under the microscope of legal entities for years to come. The hope is that these lawmakers will educate themselves on the way the UK Treasury and Canadian Senate is doing; not the way the NYDFS is handling BitLicense.
What do you think is coming out of the UK? Comment below!
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