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‘Britcoin’ not bitcoin? UK considers new digital currency

BoE Governor Andrew Bailey has previously said bitcoin, the best known cryptocurrency, fails to act as a stable store of value or an efficient way to make transactions, making it ill-suited to serve as a currency and a risky bet for investors.

Central banks also took a dim view of efforts by Facebook to set up its own digital currency.

Even so, cryptocurrencies have received growing interest from mainstream financial institutions, and bitcoin hit a record high of nearly $US65,000 ($83,850) on April 14, up tenfold in the space of a year.

Dark trading

Sunak, launching the UK FinTech Week conference, also announced other measures aimed at maintaining the post-Brexit competitiveness of London, which vies with New York to be the world’s largest financial centre.

BoE Governor Andrew Bailey has previously said bitcoin, the best known cryptocurrency, fails to act as a stable store of value or an efficient way to make transactions, making it ill-suited to serve as a currency and a risky bet for investors.Credit:Bloomberg

Since Britain’s departure from the European Union’s orbit on December 31, the financial sector has faced restrictions on serving EU customers.

Sunak proposed removing restrictions inherited from the EU, including on who can trade shares in London and the double volume cap.

This would help Britain attract more “dark” or anonymous trading by big investors after Amsterdam toppled London as Europe’s top share trading centre in January.

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“The consultation process aims to deliver a rulebook that is fair, outcomes-based and supports competitiveness, whilst ensuring the UK maintains the highest regulatory standards,” Sunak said.

Britain would also propose changes to companies’ share prospectuses to ensure the rules are “not overly burdensome”, Sunak said.

Reuters

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