London announces fintech and crypto task force

The U.K. government will set up a new task force that will monitor cryptocurrencies and the fintech industry as  a whole, which contributes £7 billion annually to the UK economy. 

On Thursday, Bank of England’s Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden announced that  the central bank has “set up a new Fintech Hub that will sit at the heart of the bank, to consider both how the bank understands and how it applies fintech, relevant to its mission,” Ramsden said. 

The new unit is part of a cryptocurrency task force announced today by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, which encompasses the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority watchdog. 

The central bank has already been delving into cryptocurrency issues over the last few years, particularly through its Fintech Accelerator, which has contributed to the bank’s understanding of distributed ledger technology, according to Bloomberg.

“We are now looking to build on the success of the Accelerator by integrating its key approaches into our business as usual activities,” Ramsden said.

Meanwhile, the South Korean financial regulator has said that it will promote the innovation of the blockchain and fintech industries instead of trying to encumber them.

South Korea’s Financial Services Authority (FCA) also said it believes the fintech industry could be a boon for young job seekers: “Fintech is an area that requires new technologies, and it will solve the youth job problem by increasing job positions for young people.”

Omar Rahim, CEO of Energimine, an energy efficiency blockchain company, welcomed South Korea’s new stance: “When combined with the recent increase in cryptocurrency regulations by South Korea, this embracing of underlying blockchain technology demonstrates how they are leading the way in encouraging responsible growth for the sector at large.”

“Nobody wants this to be the wild west anymore. With this regulation comes much needed stability.”

South Korea is one of the world’s most active cryptocurrency markets and the regulator clamped down on anonymous trading on exchanges at the start of the year. The government softened its tone however as the public petitioned anti-crypto regulations and has reassured the markets that there is no outright ban planned. 

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