The chief executive of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) addressed the issue of cryptocurrencies at a speech in London on Tuesday, a subject with which he said requires a balanced approach.
Speaking at the 2018 regulator’s Annual Public Meeting, Andrew Bailey initially brought up crypto assets as one of four operational risks significant in the regulators’ current work. While he said that the FCA was ”keen to see the potential of their underlying technology,” he recognized that there are also evident risks, citing a lack of education from consumers who do not understand the price volatility of their investments.
Bailey added that the FCA would not ”rule out roles for cryptoassets themselves”, an approach far from calling for a ban or restriction on trading operations. Combined with his statement that ”the FCA is firmly a supporter of innovation,” UK investors can rest assured that the FCA is not looking to impose any radical changes to the current regulations any time soon.
The section of Bailey’s speech referring to cryptocurrency came to an end with his assurance that the regulatory body was working closely with the Treasury and Bank of England to address any related issues and find ”appropriate responses”, a reference to the Cryptoassets Task Force set up earlier this year in May.
The UK task force held its first meeting on 21 May to discuss the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and to establish ways to mitigate any risks that the growing industry might bring.
Alongside the FCO, the task force includes several senior government officials, the Bank of England and HM Treasury, although they have said they welcome the opinions and input of trade bodies, consumer groups, and investors in order to gain a broader perspective.
The UK has already begun establishing itself as a leading country in the blockchain industry; the outcome of these discussions are crucial in deciding whether this can remain the case in the future.
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