Cryptocurrencies could help Britain maintain its dominant position in the financial services industry post-Brexit.
The City of London and neighbouring Canary Wharf are home to the world’s highest number of banks and its largest commercial insurance market.
Many firms are considering moving operations to mainland Europe as uncertainty reigns over whether the deal Britain ultimately strikes will maintain close ties with the European Union or represent a far ‘harder’ Brexit – or whether a deal will be reached at all.
Confidence improved on Monday when Britain’s financial services minister John Glen said he was confident that London’s vast financial centre would have access to EU markets after Brexit.
However the mood changes on an almost daily basis. One expert believes that crypto, which has a reputation for volatility owing to huge swings in value over time, could actually be a welcome constant for the country.
“Britain is already looking at how it can maintain its dominance in financial services post Brexit, even as some major players abandon ship ahead of March next year,” Mike Rymanov, chief executive of Digital Securities Exchange, told the Daily Express.
“As such, crypto could present a big opportunity.”
Rymanov argues that the potential for adopting a crypto-friendly market away from the rules and regulations of the EU could help nurture the nascent industry.
“While the EU looks to apply regulation at an EU level, taking it out of the control of member states, Britain could be free to apply its own rules and shape itself to become a well-regulated and crypto-friendly market that looks to nurture the future of this financial movement rather than eye it with an air of suspicion and cynicism,” he said.
However, he added that the UK might continue to fall in line with the rest of the EU.
“It’s already launched a new Anti Money Laundering (AML) watchdog, and outlined a clear intention to adopt the EU’s fifth AML directive, even after Brexit, all geared towards a closer inspection of the crypto world,” he said.
“What’s essential is that Britain maintains a competitive edge and continues to be a hub of innovation in the financial sector.
“It has been seen to be faster than some of its European counterparts in embracing crypto and working with blockchain technology.
“What can’t happen is for Britain to become scared of its own financial shadow and water down the investment its made into new technologies, all in a bid to placate the traditional financial services world.”