In a speech at the Alan Turing Institute for Data Science on Wednesday, UK Economic Secretary Harriett Baldwin emphasized national efforts to create a regime for digital currencies and a commitment to regulate digital currency exchanges.
Baldwin indicated that a key driver to the UK Government formulating the right regulatory policy is to attract more digital currency investors and users from overseas.
We’re working hard to create the right regime for digital currencies – one which is right for digital currency businesses, attracting overseas investors to the UK and users.
The fact that we have committed to bring digital currency exchanges into regulation has been welcomed by industry, and it’s already resulted in digital currency businesses relocating to the UK.
Baldwin identified the example of bitcoin services company Circle, which is setting up an office in London to coordinate its European expansion. Circle has apparently made it evident that it was motivated by the UK Government’s positive approach to FinTech and digital currencies.
The Economic Secretary noted that the government, to complement its cryptocurrency regulatory work, has formed a research initiative together with the Research Councils, Alan Turing Institute and publicly funded think tank Digital Catapult to address distributed ledger technology and increased public research funding in the area by £10 million.
In her speech, Baldwin noted the major impetuses for the government to support blockchain technology research:
There are a number of potential benefits of this technology, which include:
a. the potential to facilitate the fast, efficient, and secure transfer of ownership of digital assets – including bonds, shares, and other financial instruments, over the internet;
b. and the function of digitally ‘signing’ and time-stamping digital assets – helping maintain records of digital documents securely and efficiency
She implied that the UK Government’s key objective in funding and formulating policy on innovative financial services like digital currencies and the blockchain technology was to make processes simpler and peoples’ lives easier.