‘Influential’ Brexit Britain urged to seize major currency opportunity ‘vital for future’

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The UK has tentatively started to regulate and delve into cryptocurrencies and digital currencies, but Joseph Robertson believes it could be a golden opportunity for post-Brexit Britain. Mr Robertson, director of the Orthodox Conservative Group think tank, told Express.co.uk that post-Brexit Britain “has become an influential beacon” and could use this to forge ahead in new digital fields, like cryptocurrency.

He said: “Post-Brexit Britain, whose positive influence and refreshingly independent sovereignty on the world stage has become an influential beacon in recent months, needs to once again take the initiative in this vital future aspect of all modern, first-world national economies.”

He added that “swift national action” in the first could pull the UK ahead of the rest of the world.

But, delaying would mean Britain “is in danger of appearing as a second-rate economy in the future shift of the digital era”.

Earlier this month, the UK Treasury said it would regulate some cryptocurrencies in a bid to attract digital payment investment in the UK.

Those designated “stablecoins” will become commonplace ways for people to pay for items in shops, as well as goods and services.

They are cryptocurrencies that are tethered to recognised assets or established currencies, making them less volatile than the likes of Bitcoin.

The Treasury added they would consider adding further cryptocurrencies in the future.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “We want to see the [cryptocurrency] businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.”

He added: “It is my ambition to make the UK a global hub for crypto asset technology, and the measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country.”

John Glen, UK Financial Services Minister, said there was “enormous potential in crypto” in the UK.

Between digital currencies and associated technologies, Mr Glen said he had “detailed plan [for] harnessing the potential of blockchain and supporting the development of a world-best crypto ecosystem”.

He questioned: “What does the future of crypto here in the UK look like? No-one knows for sure.

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“But we think that by making this country a hospitable place for crypto we can attract investment [and] generate swathes of new jobs.”

The EU has taken a cautious approach to cryptocurrencies, with the European Parliament calling cryptocurrencies “both immensely promising and problematic”.

The EU is set to introduce new legislation to “curb the threats” of cryptocurrency and provide “legal certainty”.

Cryptocurrencies are traditionally anonymous, but the rules aim to provide “transparency, disclosure, authorisation and supervision of transactions”.

In April, the European Parliament kicked off negotiations with EU member states for putting rules on cryptocurrency assets, including identifying sources and destinations of transfers.

But the UK’s place outside of the EU on the cryptocurrency stage was outlined by Mr Sunak a year ago, when the Chancellor unveiled a joint task force between the Treasury and the Bank of England.

The task force was part of an initiative bolster the City post-Brexit.

Mr Sunak said: “The UK is already known for being at the forefront of innovation, but we need to go further.

“The steps I’ve outlined today, to boost growing fintechs, push the boundaries of digital finance and make our financial markets more efficient, will propel us forward.

“And if we can capture the extraordinary potential of technology, we’ll cement the UK’s position as the world’s pre-eminent financial centre.”

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