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Brexit, Binance and Bitcoin: A New Era for Crypto in the UK?

Brexit, Binance and Bitcoin: A New Era for Crypto in the UK?

With the clock ticking on Britain’s much-debated exit from membership of the EU and all that means if a decision is finally agreed by September, where will this leave the UK in European Crypto Space? In a position of strength, or cut-off from its legislative support on the other side of the channel?

Well, no man is an island according to English metaphysical poet John Donne, but at this moment in time, it appears that the UK is digging its own hole in the sand as each week passes towards the latest agreed date of departure, when Great Britain and Northern Ireland hopefully get its rules back from the longtime European partners; the leaver’s much heralded and acclaimed  “taking back control.”

Does this even matter when it comes to cryptocurrency trading? In the UK the banks are aware of it, the Bank of England is monitoring it, and the man on the street pretty much knows about it. Bitcoin continues to be classified as private money, with VAT applied and also subject to capital gains tax, where profits and losses are involved.

However-and Britain has illustrated with great clarity to a dumbfounded Europe with its Brexit machinations-it is often slow to make decisions and enforce regulations; in fact, the UK now risks falling behind its European partners regarding cryptocurrency regulations unless it acts with more clarity and decisiveness, and guess who has taken up the leading role in this regard? The French…that must hurt.

Yes, the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) did release a recent update of its progress which is currently in the hands of the specially selected Cryptoassets Taskforce.  However, a series of final guidelines or policy guidelines are still awaited from the FSA after the release of this consultation paper as far as regulatory dynamics go. With France now happy to lead Europe on a regulatory charge, Britain could be left counting its fingers after Brexit.

There are those in the UK however who like what they see in terms of crypto’s future after Brexit. Mike Romanov chief executive of Digital Securities Exchange (DSX) feels it can continue its dominance in the financial markets and crypto could come under the UK rather than EU legislative control. Others see an opportunity too, with a dent left in the Euro cryptocurrency market as Britain goes into its own crypto shell, out of reach from the EU’s legislative grasp, opening the door for new smaller players outside of the EU to leap in and plug some holes.

This is the Bitcoin bull’s stance, Britain hopes for friendlier digital currency regulations than it has at present. Another consideration is what might happen to the price of BTC with the impact of a final departure or possible vote to remain (the usual suspects) this year. There is a general feeling that it is simply the Brexit debate which is pinning the economy down and any kind of departure from this pain will be a release for both traditional and digital financial markets. According to the Bank of England, the economy has been shedding about £800M every week since they made the verdict in 2016.

There is one man who is just happy at what he sees, and if it continues, well then long may it do so. Enter Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao who, having now set up in Jersey is in the right place at the right time; well located for Europeans and Brits alike, whatever the outcome. With the existing offshore legal and regulatory framework for cryptocurrency, it is made to measure, given that there is now more than just a hint that Brits could turn to cryptocurrency come the predicted economic fallout given a no deal Brexit this year, and for this event, Zhao sees himself in the front line.

When it comes to crypto, the front line is always the place to be.

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Jersey Exchange Swamped with Bitcoin Demand as UK Squabbles Over Brexit

jersey, cryptocurrency, binance

Hong-Kong based Binance is experiencing a huge response for Bitcoin at its newly opened trading platform on the Island of Jersey.

CEO Changpeng Zhao has reported crazy demand for new registrations on the new exchange since its opening last week which is based in the self-governing UK dependency. The overwhelming amount of applications for KYC is thought to be a direct result of the current uncertainty on the UK mainland over Brexit.

With UK prime minister Teresa May’s crushing defeat of her deal with the EU for an orderly exit from the European Union, the country is now faced with numerous options, none of which can be agreed upon by politicians charged with the responsibility of delivering Brexit. Binance’s Chief Financial Officer Wei Zhou explained why the mad rush for Bitcoin in Jersey:

“Expanding the cryptocurrency exchange markets with fiat currencies in the European region is opening new economic opportunities for Europeans as well as freedom from looming Brexit uncertainty where the pound and euro are also in concern.”

Zhou goes on to explain that in his view, broader cryptocurrency adoption can be achieved by bridging the “crypto-fiat channel for Europe and the UK.” Binance has maintained for a while that Brexit could well impact on Jersey in terms of it becoming a driving force within Europe’s crypto market which has lagged behind Asia and North America.

Data provider CryptoCompare recently identified Europe’s sluggish performance compared to other markets, returning less than 4% of the global volume last year. Last week, UK Finance warned of the catastrophe that would occur within the country’s financial system if a no-deal Brexit was the final outcome on 29 March.

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Digital Jersey and Binance to Establish Crypto Exchange

Digital Jersey, the economic development agency representing Jersey’s digital industries, is to corporate with giant blockchain exchange Binance, signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a view to the two firms developing a compliance base and cryptocurrency exchange on the island.

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange is planning to set up the first Sterling to crypto exchange in Jersey – potentially bringing millions of dollars into the island’s economy, writes The Jersey Evening Post.

The aim is for to Digital Jersey to cooperate with Binance to deliver training to promote the Jersey’s young blockchain industry and to support the blockchain ecosystem with AML compliance issues and establish licensing and banking relations.

Tony Moretta, chief executive of Digital Jersey, said:

“It’s a sign of cryptocurrencies growing up in a way because they are scaling up and want to appeal to a wider selection of consumers and businesses by demonstrating they are well regulated and they know Jersey’s reputation is strong.”

Moretta said the collaboration will develop exchange and compliance functions in Jersey while delivering blockchain training to support startup growth. This hopes to bring 40 new jobs and Binance will seek to invest in the island’s fintech space and local startups through its venture capital subsidiary Binance Labs.

There are no official figures for Binance’s value, but its founder Changpen Zhao is estimated to have accrued a personal fortune in excess of over USD 2 billion. Ths company itself manages over USD 6 billion in trades in just 24 hours, it has been reported. On the Jersey deal, Zhao commented:

“With its local economy based on a major currency (GBP) and its close proximity to the UK and Western Europe, we are confident the cooperation with Jersey will not only benefit the local economy but also form a strong operational foundation for our expansion into the rest of Europe.”

Jersey is not the only island community of interest to the exchange giant. Binance has now set up in Malta, followed by similar plans from rival exchange OKEx and German blockchain firm Neufundand.

External relations minister Senator Ian Gorst, is positive about the new development for the island, commenting:

“This is absolutely the space where Jersey’s future is. I want to create hope for the Island’s future by a bringing together of its technological future and strength in financial services.”

 

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