One of the most interesting announcements in today’s FinTech sector strategy announcement was the launch of the new cryptoassets taskforce. You would genuinely have had to be sitting in a hole (on an island far far away) to have escaped the mounting excitement around blockchain and cryptocurrency so far this year. Whether ensconced in the minutiae of exchange regulation, or simply enjoying high-level musings over what I have heard described as ‘the new middle class dinner party topic of choice’ – distributed ledger wizardry is capturing the attention of businesses, developers and regulators alike.
With a technology moving this quickly, it’s encouraging to see the emergence of working groups, taskforces and communities, dedicated to bringing the brightest minds together to understand how we can take cryptoassets from often misunderstood hype, to a lynchpin of tomorrow’s economy.
The recently launched Global Digital Finance (GDF) is a notable new cryptocurrency industry body, which aims to create a global code of conduct to “induce a shared understanding of the opportunities, risks and practices” associated with cryptocurrencies. Tackling the topic on a global scale, based on a common taxonomy, will be an important building block of a truly digital financial future, which is fair and transparent.
The news agenda, value of Bitcoin, and regulation around marketing and promotion of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), will no doubt have moved on from when I started writing four paragraphs below. One thing’s for sure – distributed ledger technology is getting serious. There will be winners and losers, but I believe we’re looking at an infrastructural shift that is here to stay.
The world is being transformed by a technological revolution, with established firms across the economy being challenged by a new wave of digital innovation. This is particularly true in the financial services sector, where Fintech promises to change the way that we bank, invest, insure and even pay for things. With strong domestic demand for Fintech products, a world-leading financial services sector, a thriving tech scene, a positive regulatory environment, and strong government support, it’s no wonder that the UK is riding the crest of this wave as the best place in the world to start and grow a Fintech business. This Fintech Sector Strategy sets out how we intend to preserve and extend the UK’s international edge in Fintech.