The recently-established UK government’s crypto assets taskforce has held its initial meeting to assess its goals, plans, and general agenda. The creation of such taskforce was announced in March as part of the ‘Fintech Sector Strategy’ and it is comprised of three key contributors: Her Majesty’s Treasury, Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The first meeting was attended by some of the most prominent financial officials of the British government, including Director General of Financial Services at HM Treasury Katharine Braddick, Chief Executive of the FCA Andrew Bailey and Dave Ramsden, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. It seems the gathering was quite fruitful as a number of key objectives were established.
The taskforce agreed its main objectives and interests lay in: exploring the impact of cryptocurrencies, understanding the benefits and challenges of blockchain technology in financial services and, perhaps most significantly, assessing what, if any, regulation is required in response.
Mr. Bailey said that “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 crypto assets.“
The new institutional body seems to distance itself from the traditional regulatory image as it claims it will seek new views from academics, consumers, and crypto investors. Additionally, the task force will also base its course of action on recent research and analysis on the crypto sphere by the UK government and analysts.
Mr. Ramsden went on to add that, “The technologies that underpin crypto assets have the potential to deliver benefits both to the financial system and to the economy it serves. 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 realized, while also tackling the risks arising from crypto assets.“
A panel of British experts have already touched upon similar issues at Cloud Expo Europe earlier this year. Discussing how distributed ledger technology could be introduced into the banking system, experts agreed that what was needed was a cross-sector collaboration rather than stricter regulation.
A roundtable discussion has been scheduled for July, while a report of the task force findings will be published in Q3 2018. While it is still too early to tell if such an institutional body will be successful, it is certainly a welcome change of regulatory approach, shifting from restriction to collaboration.
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I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.