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November 7, 2017 at 11:19 am #1529
This was sent to Greg Clark MP and Karen Bradley MP. I’ll update it with replies.
I assume you have technical advisors and I hope they would have made you aware that the future of fin-tech is blockchain technology. If not I ask that you speak to an independent 3rd party to get a unbiased professional opinion on these matters.
I am writing to bring your attention to the current situation facing UK cryptocurrency businesses. London is meant to be the hub of fin-tech in Europe but companies involved in blockchain technologies aren’t being allowed to operate here by the banks. A cynical person might say this is anti-competitive and they see cryptocurrency as a threat to their business models. Cryptocurrency will still go mainstream within the next ten years here in the UK and that is going to be an issue for the banks and the BoE. For every dollar invested in cryptocurrency (currently 100 billion and growing fast) that is a dollar not invested in Wall Street or the LSE. The devaluation of USD/GBP/EUR also seems highly likely in the medium-long term as money is moved to deflationary currencies rather than inflationary government controlled currency.
We are a cryptocurrency startup based in Cambridge and have been refused a current account by every bank in the UK because we are involved in cryptocurrencies. We have even heard horror stories of UK banks closing personal accounts because customers had transactions with popular bitcoin exchanges. Our company has been forced to open up an offshore bank account because we need banking to operate. This is going to be a huge missed opportunity for the UK if the business environment doesn’t allow for the industry to grow and mature here.
Cryptocurrency will be the biggest revolution to society since the birth of the internet and London will miss out in the same way it did to Silicon Valley if action is not taken. Cryptocurrency has a bad reputation because of the Bitcoin/Silkroad scandal and other scams that have taken place but these are minor cases in a larger picture. The next bunch of unicorn companies will be blockchain based and the UK could really use the tax revenue from what will be some of the largest companies in the world in a decades time. I believe the government needs to step in primarily to create an acceptable business environment and also to bring in regulation to influence the growth of blockchain technologies both here and globally.
What can the British government do to address the issues facing cryptocurrency businesses in the UK?
Are you aware and prepared for how mainstream cryptocurrency adoption is going to change the financial systems?