UK Plans Cryptoassets Task Force To Mitigate Risk & Foster Innovation
The UK office of the Treasury has announced a plan to establish a special crypto assets ‘task force’ that will manage risks, while harnessing the potential benefits of blockchain technology. The announcement was made by Philip Hammond, UK Finance Minister. While governments and financial institutions across the world are averse to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, they have clearly understood that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are here to stay as it is revolutionizing the manner in which business is carried out in all sectors.
Hammond is expected to announce the task force at the government’s second International Fintech Conference., which began yesterday. The task force will likely comprise of the Bank of England, the FCA (Finance Conduct Authority), and the Treasury itself.
Philip Hammond, UK Finance Minister, said
“I am committed to helping the sector grow and flourish, and our ambitious sector strategy sets out how we will ensure the U.K. remains at the cutting edge of the digital revolution. As part of that, a new task force will help the U.K. to manage the risks around crypto assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology. ”
Hammond also pointed out that the initiative is part of a larger collective financial sector strategy aimed at assisting the country to manage risks related to cryptocurrencies, while harnessing the potential benefits of the distributed ledger technology.
The UK government also announced the government’s interest in creating a UK-Australia ‘fintech bridge’, which will connect respective markets of both countries and enable UK’s enterprises to expand internationally.
In December 2017, Bank of England had announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency in early 2018. So far, there has been no update on that plan. The UK government has been mostly supportive of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, albeit expressing concerns once in a while.