Cryptocurrency Task Force Unveiled By The UK Govtbr>
Philip Hammond, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer and Second Lord of the Treasury, is expected to announce a task force that will examine both the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies.
Hammond will be delivering a major speech on financial technology at the Treasury’s second annual International FinTech Conference in London on Thursday. He will reveal the cryptoassets task force, which will include the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority in addition to the Treasury.
The task force is part of a wider FinTech strategy laid out by Westminster. Hammond said the task force will help the UK to manage the risks around crypto assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology.
The UK government will also sign an agreement – dubbed “FinTech bridge” – with Australia that will enable local FinTech firms to sell products and services in Australia. The UK FinTech sector contributes £6.6 billion ($9.3B USD) annually to the local economy and employs over 60,000 people across 1,600 companies. The agreement will also look to build cooperation on policies and regulation surrounding the sector.
“I am committed to helping the sector grow and flourish, and our ambitious sector strategy sets out how we will ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of the digital revolution,” Hammond said.
Digital and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock will also announce that Tech City UK is creating a nationwide FinTech Program, which will seek to support companies across the sector.
“We are determined to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business while giving consumers more choice when it comes to managing their money,” said Hancock. “This new nationwide fintech programme will help startups right across the country flourish in the future and spread the benefits of this pioneering technology.”
The UK government has shown less enthusiasm for cryptocurrency, but has said that its underlying technology could be transformational to mainstream finance.
In a speech earlier this month, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called for more regulation on the crypto sector, and labeled price volatility within the space “speculative mania.” Last month, Carney said that bitcoin has “pretty much failed” as a form of money.