San Francisco based Ripple, owner the world’s third largest cryptocurrency, has made a plea to UK regulators to end the ‘Wild West’ days of cryptocurrencies. The company has urged the UK to follow in Japan’s footsteps in implementing structured regulatory frameworks to encourage safe and legal investments into digital currencies.
Britain Urged to Strike a Balance
According to The Telegraph, Ripple’s head of regulatory regulations, Ryan Zagone, called on UK regulators to strike a balance between “capturing risk and enabling innovation”. Three areas highlighted for suggested regulation were financial stability, consumer protection, and anti-money laundering.
Zagone compared the current status of the crypto industry to the early days of the internet and added;
“We’re at that time now where we need more clarity and rules and we need more certainty. It’s a good time to start revisiting that ‘wait and see’ approach taken by regulators,”
Japan has led the way with cryptocurrency legitimization and regulation and is the world’s leading country for digital asset trading and investment. The UK has been a lot slower to react, possibly due to the Brexit negotiations dragging on and dominating national politics. UK Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiled a new taskforce in March which would help protect consumers.
Unsurprisingly Bank of England governor Mark Carney took the stance that most central bank bosses have and called for a clampdown stating that cryptocurrencies had ‘the hallmarks of a bubble’. Zagone argued that regulation is needed to help markets mature and draw in new entrants;
“Regulation creates the guardrails on the highway that allows new entrants to come in, particularly institutional investors,”
Bankers obviously favor complete crackdowns as their business model is threatened by decentralized currency. UK bank Barclays has made some bizarre moves by likening Bitcoin to an ‘infectious disease’ in one instance, then partnering up with Coinbase, one of the world’s largest exchanges, in another.
It remains to be seen what path the UK will take with regards to cryptocurrencies. It can follow in Japan’s footsteps and welcome the industry which will generate greater innovation and new business investment. Or it can choose to clamp down forcing companies, traders and investors overseas to crypto friendlier climes.
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