Today is turning out to be a double whammy day for the crypto space as two negative happenings are rocking it.
We told you earlier about the worrying developments over Binance and its ability to operate in Japan being in jeopardy over licensing issues.
Also at play today is word that a task force has been formed in the U.K. that is charged specifically with looking into the crypto space, and there are worries that the scrutiny could lead to more regulations there.
On all this news, Bitcoin’s price was steadily falling. It was down 5.2% to $8,590 at press time (New York).
A U.K. first
In the U.K., the second International Fintech Conference is being held in which a cryptocurrency task force is being announced. Charged with examining the benefits and risks of the cryptos, the task force is part of the U.K.’s first FinTech sector strategy.
In a statement about the conference, the following was noted:
“A new cryptoassets task force, the next steps in ‘robo-regulation’ to make it faster and easier for fintech firms to follow complex regulations, and a new U.K.-Australia ‘fintech bridge’ to help U.K. firms expand internationally, are some of the innovations expected to be announced by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond…”
Hammond said he’s committed to helping the FinTech sector grow and flourish, and the strategies will help the U.K. remain “at the cutting edge of the digital revolution.”
Multi-pronged strategic approach
The U.K.’s finance department said on Thursday that the task force would include HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority. With these entities working together,
the thought is they will be able to help the U.K. become a leader in “harnessing the .potential benefits of the underlying technology, while guarding against potential risks.”
When you look closely at what the strategy entails, it doesn’t seem to indicate stringent regulations were imminent. Other parts of it include:
implementing ‘robo-regulation’ pilot schemes to help new FinTech firms, and the financial services industry more widely, comply with regulations by building software which would automatically ensure they follow the rules, saving them time and money
appointing three new Fintech Regional Envoys to ensure the benefits of FinTech are felt across the U.K.
creating a set of industry standards which will enable FinTech firms to more easily partner with existing banks
The conference is bringing together international investors and U.K. FinTech firms alongside leading industry figures, regulators and policymakers for a day-long program of talks and pitches promoting the opportunities for global investment in the U.K. FinTech sector.
Wind removed from sails
News about this task force contributed to the panic in the crypto space. Bitcoin’s price is also being aggravated by word that Japan could make Binance halt operations there because the exchange hasn’t secured the proper licenses.