Category Archives: Mark Carney

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UK ‘Cryptoassets Task Force’ Begins on Positive Note

The UK government’s ‘Cryptoassets Task Force’ met for the first time on 21 May as part of the country’s plan to regulate the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, reported Crowdfund Insider.

One of the functions of the UK government’s task force will be to examine the risks of blockchain technology and mitigate these while examining the benefits of ledger technology in financial services. The Cryptoassets Task Force, consisting of the UK Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been set up for this purpose and is expected to report back in the summer with its findings in a roundtable scheduled for July, according to Bitcoin News.

The previously announced group involves the participation of the FCA, Bank of England (BoE), HM Treasury and other senior government officials. Some of the named participants include Katharine Braddick, director general of financial services at HM Treasury, Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the FCA, and Dave Ramsden, deputy governor of the BoE.

Bailey commented on the cryptocurrency status quo in the country saying that he was looking forward to working with both the BoE and the UK Treasury in order to develop policy.

Ramsden started on a positive note focussing on the what he saw as the potential benefits to the financial system on the UK economy:

“This task force will enable us to work closely with the Treasury and the FCA to explore how the opportunities posed by these technologies can be realized, while also tackling the risks arising from crypto assets.”

The task force’s analysis will not be limited to the central bank and regulatory bodies, but will welcome contributions from trade bodies, consumer groups and investors, in order to obtain a broad view of opinion from both government and public institutions.

The UK is known as a driving force in blockchain research and the spread of solutions is being utilized by numerous companies, as the country becomes one of the world’s most significant and dynamic fintech hubs. The government is keen to see further development of non-traditional innovation in the light of this recent progress.

BoE governor Mark Carney has moved over time from a position of claiming that cryptocurrency had “pretty much failed” as a form of money, to recent indications that he was not against innovation provided by cryptocurrencies, stating that regulation could potentially “serve the public better”.

British Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Matt Hancock delivered a speech to the Law Society last month commenting that blockchain technology would have a “monumental impact” on people’s lives in the future.

 

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Mark Carney Repeats Crypto “No Risk” Claims at Canadian Forum

Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney has declared during a speech in Toronto that digital currencies are no risk to the financial environment.

At the Public Policy Forum’s Canada Growth Summit held on 12 April, Carney suggested that digital currencies were “no risk” to the financial world as yet, despite the “huge amount” of illicit activity attached to them. His comments, echoed in a letter he sent to the recent G20 summit in Argentina, argued that as yet, these currencies are no risk as they are not attached to the financial system and still small.

Former Bank of Canada head Carney has continued to push for tighter regulation for cryptocurrencies over past years, suggesting that without regulation they are open to abuse when exchanged against fiat currencies, saying, “there’s plenty of serious abuse or at a minimum, they are very porous to a cyber attack and theft and they just do not meet the standards.”

In Carney’s home country, the Bank of Canada as recently stated that globally aligned policies governing cryptocurrencies are needed. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) stated this month that it was currently gathering information on several cryptocurrency trading platforms after receiving complaints about their activities.

This OSC move comes amid the rise of exchanges to trade digital currencies, as well as initial coin offerings to launch new ones. Sharp rises in prices for the new currencies last year created an upsurge of interest in Canadian startups.

The Bank of England governor has always been skeptical about introducing digital currencies into the financial system. He stated earlier this year that the cryptocurrency ecosystem could be incorporated if the same regulatory approach and “rigorous standard” used in conventional financial systems were applied to cryptocurrencies.

Carney’s views on cryptocurrencies have softened in recent months, commenting recently that digital currencies like Bitcoin should be regarded as assets.

 

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Possible Boost to UK Cryptocurrency After Positive Government Comments

UK government comments made on 22 March at the UK Treasury’s International Fintech Conference indicate that the UK government sees regulation as a way of enabling a “stable” cryptocurrency exchange in the City of London.

UK city minister John Glen’s comments suggested that regulation could be a “significant boost”  to the local cryptocurrency industry should the government be able to find an appropriate level of regulation. Although it’s unclear exactly what an appropriate level will look like in real terms, such discussions regarding boosting the cryptocurrency industry might be viewed by the industry as positive language. John Glen was quick to point out that current levels of trading activity posed no significant risk to the economy.

Speaking at the conference, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, launched the Fintech Sector Strategy, designed to further trading relations with Australia. A major factor in this potential partnership includes understanding emerging technologies such as blockchain and harnessing their potential.

One of the functions of the UK government’s task force will be to examine the risks of blockchain technology and mitigate these while examining the benefits of ledger technology in financial services. The Cryptocurrency Task  Force,  consisting of the UK Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority has been set up for this purpose and is expected to report back in the summer with its findings.

Such calls for regulation were made last week by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, when he discussed the impact of cryptocurrencies’ core technology indicating that he was not against innovation provided by cryptocurrencies, stating that regulation could potentially “serve the public better”. This following his comments that cryptocurrency “had pretty much failed” as a source of money.

Chancellor Hammond commented at the conference that “every hour a new tech business is founded in the UK and my aim is to make that every half hour” and indicated that the UK would open its doors to innovators and inventors. He suggested the task force as a first step towards automating financial compliance in the UK.

 

 

 

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Bitcoin on the Rise: Bullish Trends and the G20 Influence

It has been a tough month for Bitcoin coming off the winter boom but there have been several standout moments offering respite from bearish trends and contributing to the current uptrend in the Bitcoin markets.

Firstly, Thomas Lee, the head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors and his team have released an interesting flow chart (below) that describes the phases of the altcoin market cycle.

While it indicates that the majority of the decline is behind us, their graphs don’t quite inspire an immediate sense of confidence with the purgatory phase apparently in effect and it is still relatively hard to tell when things will begin to look definitively bullish again.

The Risk of Stagnation

How deep this current period will be is still unknown, but it could be noted that markets tend to react swiftly, particularly to positive news, progress in innovations and regulations.

The stakes for blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies are higher than ever; the past couple of years have seen massive progress with efforts to make the industry more consumer-friendly and regulation-compliant. Despite the scandals of scam ICOs and the recent crackdown on cryptocurrency advertising, the blockchain industry is holding on tight and is more active than ever.

The pressure on altcoins to adapt or die is growing and this slump could spark further indecisiveness and cynicism, dampening the progress that new or established blockchain companies have been making over the past year.

These being worst case scenarios, anything at all can happen in this business, so it’s best to keep an open mind, especially as big organizations, governments, industry heads and key figures are all putting the conversation about cryptocurrencies on the table.

A Good Influence

The G20 Summit is considered partly responsible for the upswing Bitcoin has seen over the past couple of days. Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, stated in a letter to G20 finances ministers: “The FSB’s initial assessment is that crypto-assets do not pose risks to global financial stability at this time.”

He continued: “Crypto-assets raise a host of issues around consumer and investor protection, as well as their use to shield illicit activity and for money laundering and terrorist financing. At the same time, the technologies underlying them have the potential to improve the efficiency and inclusiveness of both the financial system and the economy.”

A Little More Conversation and A Lot More Action

If the brains at Fundstrat are correct, then this low period of inactivity and consolidation could be a sluggish ride and set the evolution of this industry back for some time. This is the chance for the industry to begin shaking hands with the regulators, influencers and institutions that can begin to create a space for the technology in the everyday lives of the world.

Conversations such as this may only boost Bitcoin value for so long, however, and the bear market could still very well be in play. But the critical part to take away from all of this is that more and more powerful influencers are talking about how to make cryptocurrencies work.

Now let’s see some action.

 

 

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