The regulation of bitcoin companies is currently something that is still being worked on by a large number of countries around the world. Many of these countries have now started welcoming the use of bitcoin alongside their regular currency whilst others have either restricted its use or have actually banned it altogether. Having been a European financial hub for a number of decades now it would appear that the UK is now looking at integrating the bitcoin into this hub.
Following is recent re-election into government David Cameron has made the surprising decision to take the bitcoin company Blockchain along with him on his first trade mission to South East Asia since he came back into power, along with some of the regular companies like Rolls Royce and Lloyds of London.
In the UK there has been very little so far in terms of stronger regulation or legislation for the bitcoin from the British government so this move would appear to quite a positive one for the bitcoin industry. Going forward this could evolve into new anti-money laundering regulations being put in place for bitcoin companies, although putting the government to one side the Bank of England has recently issued a number of statements that have put cryptocurrency like bitcoin in a very positive light.
In one of its statements back in February the bank of England wrote:
“While existing private digital currencies have economic flaws which make them volatile, the distributed ledger technology that their payment systems rely on may have considerable promise.”
This latest move by Cameron in taking a bitcoin company with him on his latest trade mission does seem to show that the UK is eager to become a European bitcoin hub and will be happy to welcome any new UK bitcoin start-ups that come along.
According to the co-founder and CEO of Blockchain, Peter Smith, the delegation was mostly made up of huge infrastructure companies as you would expect on a trip like this but there were also a few peer-to-peer loan companies, a bank software-as-a-service provide and an e-commerce company along with them too.
With more than 5 million users and almost double the number of transaction using either Blockchain’s API or wallets in the last six months the start-up company based in London has recently seen a significant amount of growth. October 2014 also saw the start-up company raise over $30 million in funding.
Smith appears optimistic about future introduction of bitcoin regulation in the UK as Blockchain has been working closely with policy makers in the UK as well as with No 10. He also believes that the invite to join the delegation shows the positive relationship they have with the government and also the dedication David Cameron has towards both fintech and more importantly fintech 2.0. He also mentioned that not only has George Osborne been quite supportive of bitcoin in many of his public comments but he has also committed £10 million towards the study of bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general.