London has been informally known as the global bitcoin hub, as the cryptocurrency community in this city has grown significantly and the UK government itself adopts a relatively open-minded approach to developments in the industry. Now that the elections are over and the Conservatives are still in power, many believe that this could pave the way for increased adoption of the digital currency in the region.
Of course the government and the central bank are concerned about the potential usage of bitcoin in money laundering activities, which is why officials recently explained “The government intends to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges in the UK, to support innovation and prevent criminal use. The government will formally consult on the proposed regulatory approach early in the next parliament.”
Need for a Global Bitcoin Hub?
Compared to other financial districts such as New York which is gearing up to implement BitLicense, London has been a more nurturing breeding ground for bitcoin startups. The Bank of England (BOE) has even been optimistic about the potential in the industry, citing that the blockchain system could hold enormous potential.
In one of his recent tweets, Chancellor George Osborne praised the BOE for looking into digital currencies and for ensuring that UK customers can benefit from fintech developments.
“Blockchain has great hope for the UK as a digital currency-friendly jurisdiction. We see the UK authorities learning from mistakes and successes from across the pond. In particular, the clarity and research evident in the Treasury’s recent publication on digital currencies demonstrates its true desire to get the details right, and to learn along with the industry in the process,” mentioned Marco Santori, a leading expert on blockchain law.
Just recently, a top trading platform in the UK announced the inclusion of a bitcoin-based portfolio on its fund, allowing investors to trade bitcoin via CFDs or contracts for difference.