Nigel Green, CEO of financial advisory firm deVere Group, recently said that cryptocurrency could save the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit economy.
His position, shared in an interview with an independent online news publication Verdict, focused on two main points. The first of those is that the UK will have more legislative agility once it is outside of the EU. The second is that cryptocurrency is the future of economics and tech and the UK is in a unique position to embrace it.
I believe cryptocurrencies could and should dramatically help change the fortunes of Britain’s beleaguered financial services industry, said Green.
Crypto and the UK
The UK is a significant player in the financial legislation of the European Union. However, according to deVere CEO, the size of the EU and the differences between its constituent nations make financial changes slow and unwieldy. The UK has been able to avoid some of this by staying with the pound sterling as the national currency rather than switching to the euro. However, according to Green, the UK could encourage large scale adoption of cryptocurrencies quickly and more easily if not held back by the EU.
Once outside the EU, the UK will not be beholden to the bloc’s notoriously slow and burdensome bureaucratic protocols. It could promptly establish its own rules and regulations and set up an innovative, pro-business, well-regulated market, said Green.
This could position it alongside other crypto-friendly jurisdictions such as Japan and Switzerland – and ahead of many EU member states.
Cryptocurrency also has the benefit of being borderless. In this way, large-scale crypto adoption by the UK could eventually make trade faster, more convenient, and less expensive. By being decentralised, cryptocurrency is used by a larger area – if not yet a larger population – than the euro. Certainly a larger area than the pound.
Cryptocurrency and the Future of Finance
Green sees Brexit as one reason for the UK to improve crypto adoption but not the only reason. Brexit or no Brexit, Green sees crypto as the way of the future.
Cryptocurrencies – which are digital, global, and borderless, are unquestionably the future of money. This is noted by the growing amount of retail and institutional investment into the burgeoning sector, said Green.
Whilst other jurisdictions focus on the current, the UK should set its sights on the future to be ahead of the game.
Further, Green holds that the UK, as a global centre of technology and of finance, is in the perfect position to embrace cryptocurrency.
London is – for the time being, at least – the world’s largest and most important financial hub. But its dominance is fading as Brexit-Brittain flounders in uncertainty. The growing cryptocurrency market has already provided tangible economic benefits to other major economies. Post-Brexit Brittian will be uniquely placed to go even further and, by embracing it, it could reboot the UK’s financial services sector, said Green.
UK is already a thriving global fintech and blockchain hub. This should be capitalised on further.
Where the UK Stands on Brexit and Crypto
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union just over three years ago. Since then, we have had the deadline extended twice as the UK leaders have failed to come up with a plan that satisfies both the EU and the UK. The current deadline is October 31 of this year, by which point the UK must either have a deal accepted, leave the EU without a deal, or decide to remain in the EU. Until that happens, the future of trade between the UK and most of the rest of Europe remains uncertain.
As for cryptocurrency, the UK government has neither embraced nor shunned digital currencies. They have previously decided that they don’t legally accept crypto as money. A draft of a tax guide in December of last year said that the government’s plan is to tax it similarly to property. While this may not be the ruling that crypto fans could hope for, it does mean that the UK is taking crypto seriously going forward.
Jon Jaehnig is an American freelance writer specializing in Technology and Health. Jon has degrees in Scientific and Technical Communication and Journalism from Michigan Technological University and lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife and cat. For more from Jon, you can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.