UK Needs to Take Lead on Crypto to Stay Ahead of Curve, Says eToro’s Iqbal Gandham

The U.K. needs to take the lead in “fostering innovation” in the crypto space, according to the chair of CryptoUK, who suggested Bitcoin has the potential to change global institutions.

No Reason Why It Can’t

That’s according to Iqbal V. Gandham, managing director of eToro. He’s also chair of the UK Cryptocurrency Association (CryptoUK).

In a report from the Express, Gandham said:

If the U.K. is going to have any say in blockchain and crypto innovation and is going to lead the world, it needs to act in 2019. Otherwise, like the internet, even though Tim Berners-Lee invented it, other countries will take ownership. So if the U.K. wants to be the home of capital markets and money it needs to take leadership in this space.

He added that he saw “absolutely no reason” why the U.K. couldn’t be a leader in the crypto space. The government of the British Isles has been somewhat reluctant to promote the industry, with MP Nicky Morgan saying that Bitcoin operates in a “wild west” space.

In June, though, Gandham assured MPs that investors’ crypto assets are secure. Answering questions raised by the U.K.’s Treasury Select Committee, he said that “security is improving.” However, the issue of regulation remains a barrier. This is something that many jurisdictions are turning their attention to in order to give investors better protection.

According to Gandham, regulation could and should be on the table within a year. He added:

It is really important to get ahead of the curve on this one. When it comes to money, you have got to get ahead of the curve.

Countries Considering Crypto Regulations

France is also considering regulations. Last month, it was reported that the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) had said it will launch guidelines by June 2019. It’s hoped that they will eliminate the threat of fraud, which seems to be the driving force behind them.

However, while some may think this is a negative on the space, it can also be seen as a positive. The simple fact that discussions are taking place around crypto is certainly a good thing.

Albania is another region thinking about crypto regulations. By implementing them it hopes to attract investment to what is one of the poorest countries in Europe.

It remains to be seen what impact, if any, regulation will have on the space. Yet, this may be the only way forward to see the industry flourish.

How do you think regulation will impact crypto? Do you think it’s good or bad? Let us know in the comments below.

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ECB’s Board Member: Central Bank Digital Currencies Unlikely in the Next Decade

Central bank-issued digital currencies have somewhat become a widely discussed topic, as more and more countries begin exploring them. However, according to a board member of the European Central Bank, they won’t be issued within the next decade.

ECB on Central Bank Digital Currencies

A board member of EU’s Central Bank Benoit Coeure shared his take on central bank-issued digital currencies on Thursday, Reuters reports.

According to the specialist, central banks are unlikely to issue digital currencies in the next decade. He also holds that this won’t happen even in countries where the use of cash is quickly declining.

There is broad agreement that a (central bank digital currency), in whatever form, is unlikely to be issued within the next decade, even among those four central banks that have indicated that they have reached the stage of developing a pilot project. – said Coeure.

It seems that the ECB has truly consolidated their stance on the matter, as earlier in September Live Bitcoin News reported that the bank had no plans to issue a central bank digital currency and that cash remains king.

Increasingly Popular Nonetheless

Despite ECB’s position, it can’t be denied that central bank-issued cryptocurrencies are a topic growing in popularity. According to the president of the ECB himself, a digital currency of the kind could, in theory, widen the range of economic actors:

In principle, a central bank digital currency could meet demands for both the security and digitalisation of the economy. It could also allow monetary policy to reach a wider range of economic actors more directly.

What is more, for countries such as Iran, for example, cryptocurrencies represent a way to possibly avoid US-imposed economic sanctions. As such, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has decided to launch its own cryptocurrency backed by the local fiat Rial.

Singapore’s Central Bank is also an example of a receptive financial institution. According to Damien Pang, the city-state intends to approach the field in a way which enhances it, rather than restricts it:

We take an approach where our regulations aim at the purpose rather than the technology platform itself. […] We aim not to directly regulate a specific technology itself, because technologies are always getting better.

What is your opinion on central bank digital currencies? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!

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Circuit Capital: Mainstream Bitcoin and Blockchain Adoption Is Growing

San Francisco and Singapore-based hedge fund Circuit Capital is claiming that bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption is growing, and that the institutional presence in the digital asset arena is stronger than ever.

The Price Isn’t So Hot

At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency space is undergoing a massive price slump. Bitcoin, for example, is at its lowest point in over a year, and is trading for about $5,500.

Some analysts are blaming the losses on the bitcoin cash fork scheduled to take place today November 15, 2018. Marcus Swanepoel – co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency trading wallet Luno – recently stated:

This drop in the price is more than likely due to the hard fork scheduled by bitcoin cash. The bitcoin cash blockchain has been undergoing scheduled hard forks every six months to upgrade and improve the protocol. In most cases, these hard forks are uncontested with the whole community supporting them. In this case, however, consensus couldn’t be reached with two factions emerging, and proposing different solutions for the upgrade.

Don’t Let Numbers Fool You

Circuit Capital isn’t letting this news get the best of its research team. Partner Eugene Ng claims that people are concentrating too much on the prices of bitcoin and its crypto-cousins, but that behind closed doors, several institutional traders have become involved, and mainstream adoption is growing like nobody’s business.

Set to go live in the first quarter of 2019, Circuit has built a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency index that measures the adoption rates of blockchain technology amongst major corporations and businesses, and according to ten specific data points – i.e. the number of active crypto wallets, transaction volumes and web searchers for Bitcoin and related terms – the index is suggesting that crypto and blockchain adoption is spiking fast.

Good Things in the Coming Months

In a recent blog post, Ng mentioned that some of the other driving forces behind Bitcoin adoption are fund redemptions, a lagging retail presence, funds buying not by initial coin offerings (ICOs) but by equity, smart money shorting and positive news trends.

He further explains:

The most compelling market narrative for the next bullish cycle is that institutions will be the main catalyst driving the market. For these traditional entities to gain direct exposure to crypto, they must be able to trade, settle and store assets in an institutional-grade environment. I am excited for 2019 because the foundations for a marketplace will be laid. The buildout of this infrastructure will grow alongside clarity in regulations and regulated investment product offerings that will bring massive inflows of capital.

Will Bitcoin adoption continue to grow, or can we kiss goodbye to everyone’s favorite cryptocurrency? Post your comments below.

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