Blockchain businesses attract a lot of attention, even though there is still some uncertainty regarding regulation. Over the United Kingdom, the financial watchdog is considering to approve several blockchain firms using Bitcoin technology. This is a rather surprising turn of events, albeit a sign the legitimacy of this technology will not be questioned much longer.
The UK FCA Warms Up To Blockchain Firms
Finding an open-minded regulating body has not been an easy task for Bitcoin companies around the world. Most overseeing bodies are not too keen on the concept of cryptocurrency since it operates beyond the control of banks and governments. Blockchain technology, on the other hand, is getting a lukewarm reception so far.
The Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom is planning to greenlight various “smaller” blockchain firms in the coming months. To be more precise, several groups in the FCA’s pre-approval stage are working on blockchain technology-based projects. For now, these tools are focusing on consumer services and compliance products.
FCA Director of Strategy and Competition Chris Woolard stated:
“We do think [blockchain] has got 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.”
This is good news, as there is no blockchain solution integrated into commercial activities. Many projects are still in a proof of concept stage, but that situation will come to change shortly. One of the companies to be greenlighted is Ripple, as they are working on integrating their blockchain platforms with banks.
Interestingly enough, over half of the blockchain projects in existence focus on financial services. Keeping in mind how finance is prone to disruption, this is not entirely surprising. There is plenty of money to be saved, and transactions could be sped up by a significant margin. The UK government wants new companies and technologies to challenge the ecosystem and provide a better user experience.
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