The UK Government Launches a Cryptocurrency Task Force to Harness Fintech Benefits

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The British government has announced a plan to establish a cryptocurrency 'task force' that will include Her Majesty's Treasury, The Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.

As part of the united kingdom government's broader Fintech Sector Strategy, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is expected to introduce a raft of FinTech initiatives such as a new task force centered around studying the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies, in the government's next International FinTech Conference.

An excerpt from the government's announcement to the task force reveals the Fintech Sector Strategy to establish:

«A Cryptoassets Task Force comprising HM Treasury, the Bank of England [the central bank] and the Financial Conduct Authority [the financial regulator]. This will help the UK be at the forefront of harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology while shielding against potential risks.»

Hammond insists the task force will help pin the UK as a leading biotech hub, adding it'll help «the sector grow and flourish».

Other notable initiatives expected to be declared include progressing «robo-regulation» to enable new Fintech startups and companies to follow traditionally complicated regulations. The endeavor will see pilot strategies help the financial services industry to «comply with regulations by building applications that would automatically make sure they follow the rules, saving them time and money,» the authorities said.

The statement also underlined a new Australia-UK 'Fintech bridge' to strengthen industry ties between the two, a move this to enable UK-based biotech companies to expand into Australia.

Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in January, UK Prime Minister Theresa May put the spotlight on the misuse of cryptocurrencies, specifically mentioning bitcoin. "[W]e ought to be looking at these very serious, precisely due to the way they may be used, especially by criminals," she stated, even as the UK Treasury announced plans to attract cryptocurrency transactions under existing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing legislation.

A month ago to the day, the UK Treasury Select Committee opened an inquiry into cryptocurrencies with one member summing it up as an educational crash course for politicians and lawmakers «to understand cryptocurrency better.» Earlier this week, members of the upcoming task force have also launched a study exploring cryptocurrencies, Britain's junior finance minister John Glen revealed.