Is UK's Fintech Strategy Inspired by G20 Cryptocurrency Deliberations?
The UK government is now looking to make the country the most ideal place for businesses in the Fintech sector to flourish. To realize this, the country launched a strategy for the fintech sector last month.
A key component of this new strategy is the setting up of a task force which comprises of representatives from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England and the HM treasury.
The crypto-assets task force is expected to advance the UK’s position as a digital currency leader and set up the necessary infrastructure to enable the monitoring of risks in the cryptocurrency space.
A Positive Move
Beyond monitoring risks, the task force is expected to help the country manage crypto-related risks while harnessing the benefits underlying the blockchain technology. This move is making fintech players in the country happy.
Garth Howat, CEO of Baanx says, "The new crypto-assets task force is a great idea by the UK government and we welcome their interest and oversight of the industry. London has long been one of the key financial centres of the world and companies like Baanx plan on ensuring this influence continues to grow long after we have left the EU. Our team have over 100 years of Banking & Fintech experience at the top level and we are excited by the excellent support, interest and opportunities for innovation that are presented within the UK."
Speaking during the 2nd International Fintech Conference where the strategy was launched, Philip Hammond, the Exchequer Chancellor in the UK stated his commitment to supporting the growth of the sector. He stated that the fintech strategy provides a roadmap for ensuring the country remains on the edge of digital revolution.
"I think that over the last few months, the UK has decided that it wants to carve a niche out for itself and prevent talent from straight up leaving or utilizing resources from other countries. It's a bold move and we've already seen economies like Estonia prepare themselves for the crypto revolution. We will hardly be surprised if other countries follow suit," notes Varun Mayya, CEO of Avalon Labs.
More to Be Done
For some players, the decision to include a task force to look into crypto-assets in the UK is also an indication that the country needs to do more work to ensure that London maintains its position of a global financial hub in the wake of rising competition.
"London, as a classic global financial center, is certainly well positioned to become a major hub of blockchain and crypto financial tech. However, as we heard over and again at Crypto Summit 2018 at Zurich, Switzerland and Singapore are the well established leaders. The U.K. initiative, while promising, merely indicates how much work they have to do to catch up," notes Erhan Cakmak, CEO of Pavo.
The launch of the fintech strategy by the UK came just days after the leaders from the world's largest economies acknowledged that the tech innovation that underlies cryptocurrencies has the capacity to enhance financial system inclusivity and efficiency during the G20 summit last month.
Disclaimer: David Drake is on the advisory board for most of the firms mentioned or quoted in this article.