Britain’s overall position on crypto currencies can be described as liberal and progressive. London is Europe’s biggest financial hub and the government has tried to stay ahead of the curve in terms of regulations and business-friendly policies. Chancellor George Osborne announced a new initiative to explore the potential role of crypto currencies in Britain’s economy and also commissioned a report on the risks and benefits of embracing crypto currencies in August this year: “These alternative payment systems are popular as they are quick, cheap and convenient […] I want to see if we can make more use of them for the benefit of the UK economy,” he said during his speech. Current estimations assume about 20’000 Britons holding bitcoins and approximately £60m-worth of bitcoins being in circulation in the country. Additionally, the ‘Startup Manifesto’, as it is called, was published by the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) in September. It is backed by more than 150 companies and venture capitalists, which urged the government to adopt bitcoin-friendly legislation.
The UK Treasury has issued a ‘Call for Information’ on crypto currencies in order to analyze the risks and benefits offered by the new technology. The request should provide the government with the information necessary to fully understand crypto currencies, as well as to get feedback and opinions from all interested parties. The Call for Information will be open for one month to allow individuals, businesses and other organisations to submit their comments on a wide range of issues.
It seems UK wants to get ahead in the race.