The release of the latest UK Treasury Report was another blow to bitcoin prices this week, as the government revealed plans to curb bitcoin transactions. In particular, Chancellor George Osborne outlined on Wednesday that they will be stepping up their efforts to restrict criminal activity through anti-money laundering using digital currencies.
On a more upside note, the report also revealed that the government plans to spend 10 million GBP in researching on bitcoin transactions and cryptocurrencies. This could allow startup companies to comply to standardized consumer protection laws ahead of the general elections in May.
Bitcoin Transactions in the UK
For some cryptocurrency startup companies in the United Kingdom, this strikes a pretty good balance between legitimizing bitcoin transactions while enhancing security. Of course the scope of the proposed regulation is still up for discussion but it appears that government agencies are about to perform stricter tests on digital currency exchanges in the region.
Hugh Halford-Thompson, co-founder of QuickBitcoin, remained hopeful that this could improve the transparency of bitcoin transactions and believes that the UK government is taking a good approach to help bitcoin startups gain stronger ties with banks and financial institutions.
On the other hand, Akin Fernandez, who runs London’s bitcoin voucher shop Azteco, fears that the government restrictions might force cryptocurrency startups to move their operations abroad and wind up hurting the progress made in bitcoin transactions in the country. Marc Warne, founder of UK bitcoin marketplace Bittylicious, also questioned the proposal to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Others don’t seem to be too worried, as some companies claimed that they are already complying with these proposed restrictions. In particular, UK bitcoin derivatives exchange Crypto Facilities says that the company has strict anti-money laundering procedures in place and is ready to adapt to additional rules with “reasonable guidance” from the UK government.