While a number of American states have been known to be in various stages of offering a regulatory framework for Bitcoin and Blockchain firms, the UK might soon win the race to offer a competitive ‘Bitlicense‘ first. It has now been made public that the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is actively engaged with guiding and even encouraging firms to employ the innovative technology.
Chris Woolard, the FCA’s director of strategy and competition, said in an interview with the Financial Times that the regulator thinks that blockchain technology has some potentially interesting applications and “we are talking to firms thinking about how to apply that to financial services and how it could benefit consumers or indeed make the business of compliance easier. There may be areas where we might want to encourage it a bit.” He further revealed that there is already a “small but significant number of firms” to whom the FCA is considering giving its seal of approval.
It should not be surprising that the UK’s financial authorities will be among the first in the world to offer legal support to blockchain firms, as the importance of keeping London as one of the most prominent financial centers in the world will not allow them to overlook the most disruptive technology to hit the financial markets in years.
Promoting blockchain businesses to establish themselves in the UK seems an obvious move to keep the economy at the forefront. Back in July the London-headquartered blockchain startup GovCoin Systems Limited was named by the UK government as the provider of a new technology to support government aims in the distribution of benefits. Earlier this year the UK’s Chief Government Scientist determined that blockchain may transform public services in the country.