U.K. Chancellor says government to weigh bitcoin innovation against regulatory needs

Home » U.K. Chancellor says government to weigh bitcoin innovation against regulatory needs
The Rt. Hon. George Osborne, MP

The Rt. Hon. George Osborne, MP

As Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne has the tricky job of handling the U.K.’s financial policy in a time of both incredible economic pressures and uncanny technological innovations. When the Chancellor speaks about an economic matter, it’s destined to become major news across the country, and perhaps even the world. Today, Osborne is expected to talk about bitcoin.

According to a report on the BBC, Osborne will speak extensively about the need to harness the “innovations” of digital currency, as well as the need for regulation and oversight of a still-untested industry. The BBC quoted from a prepared speech released yesterday, where Osborne will say that “only by harnessing innovations in finance, alongside our existing world class knowledge and skills in financial services, that we’ll ensure Britain’s financial sector continues to meet the diverse needs of businesses and consumers here and around the globe.”

Although the speech itself is likely to contain little new information, it appears to signal growing interest in digital currency from the country’s political and regulatory authorities. Thus far, Britain has had something of a “wait and see” attitude towards cryptocurrencies, allowing bitcoin ATMs to pop up in London and allowing retailers to experiment with it as a payment system. Osborne’s speech is the first significant hint that bitcoin’s potential, both as an innovation and as a possible future problem, has bubbled up to the highest levels of the government.

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