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UK MPs to Study Bitcoin Benefits Despite Carney’s Dismissal

British MPs will participate in a committee to study the risks and benefits of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency despite Bank of England Governor Mark Carney writing it all off as a failure.

UK Makes First Moves Toward Regulation

A cross-party Treasury select committee of members of parliament announced on Thursday that they would launch an inquiry into digital currency as well as examine the underlying blockchain distributed ledger technology that powers it.

This seemingly late move is prompted by last years investing craze that drove the value of Bitcoin and some other digital currencies to all-time highs and the subsequent market correction that saw the prices plummet over a few days time.

Chair of the committee Nicky Morgan said the committee will study the impact of cryptocurrency on personal investors as well as financial institutions in the UK. The goal is to find the right balance between regulation to ensure investor protection without stifling business that may grow from both cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology.

The committee of lawmakers will take evidence from a range of experts in the field to inform their recommendations which it will then submit to the government.

People are becoming increasingly aware of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, but they may not be aware that they are currently unregulated in the UK, and that there is no protection for individual investors,” Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, said.

Bank of England at Cross Purposes on Blockchain

Meanwhile, the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney continues his firm anti-crypto stance saying on Monday that Bitcoin “has pretty much failed” as a currency.

“It has pretty much failed thus far on … the traditional aspects of money. It is not a store of value because it is all over the map. Nobody uses it as a medium of exchange,”

Carney said, according to Reuters.

That despite the fact that the BoE is one of many central banking institutions in Europe currently examining blockchain technology as a way to distribute and track money in the public sector.

The treasury committee has created this set of key questions in order to form their recommendation.

  • Are digital currencies ultimately capable of replacing traditional means of payment?
  • To what extent could digital currencies disrupt the economy and the workings of the public sector?
  • What risks and benefits could digital currencies generate for consumers, businesses, and governments?
  • Could regulation benefit digital currency start-ups by improving consumer trust?
  • How are governments and regulators in other countries approaching digital currencies and what lessons can the UK learn from overseas?

There is no deadline set for the committee’s findings to be submitted to the treasury.

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In Bear Market, Korea’s Biggest Crypto Project ICON Showed Solid Progress

A goodbye note from Deblock’s now-former Head of Research revealed the progress of their ICON blockchain project in all these months. And they looked extremely positive. As he left the company to pursue his startup, Markus Jun noted ICON as one of the very few blockchain projects that showed significant accomplishments despite staying inside a bleeding crypto market. “My time at Deblock and ICON coincided with one of the worst downturns in the cryptocurrency market. In spite of this, I can say that the ICON team has made incredible progress,” Markus wrote while asserting that their interoperable blockchain project till this date leads the South Korean blockchain industry. “I’ve seen ICON push for significant progress in legitimizing blockchain and cryptocurrencies with the Korean Government, receiving the Minister Award for being an industry leader in the blockchain space, and launching demonstrations and several projects in conjunction with the Seoul Metropolitan Government. I’ve seen several hires in every ICON department, including senior positions, most of which weren’t made public and the team is still actively hiring to this day.” Markus also brought focus to ICON’s international expansion stories, which included the launch of their global accelerator program ICONLOOP in partnership with the Singapore government, followed by its continuation in Tokyo and San Francisco. “Beyond this, there are ongoing efforts to expand ICX Station globally. All things considered, it’s clear that ICON isn’t letting the market downturn affect them in moving forward,” Markus explained. The said expansion is also bringing valuable partners to ICONLOOP. In addition to the Seoul government, ICON has gained support from LINE, Smilegate, Kyobo Insurance, and Jeju Island to develop blockchain solutions for them. It overall makes a long-term use-case for ICON’s ICX public network, indicating a stable growth for its native token ICX as well. Solvent after Crash At the time of the ICO, ICON’x ICX token sale raised close to 75,000 ETH. Their smart contract split the funds into 30 separate Ethereum wallets. Between December 2016 and November 2018, ICO team moved circa 70% of their funds to other portfolios – perhaps as part of a sale. After the post-ETH crash adjusments, the team holds around $5 million in ETH reserves. The figures prove that ICON is far from being insolvent at this time, in contrast to several other ICO projects that have either gone out of business or in a money crisis. Forrester Research’s chief analyst Martha Bennett predicts that a majority of these ICOs are heading towards an outright extinction in absence of users and funds. “Sooner or later, this would have led to a contraction anyway. The crypto crash acted as both catalyst and wake-up call.” Big crypto startups like Coinbase and ConsenSys have also laid off employees in the past two months, indicating that the crypto market, in general, is running out of money. ICON, with a provable business model and an increasing use-case among well-known organizations, could still survive the bloodbath owing to an actual demand for service. “I’ve seen the best of ICON in the worst of times. That’s why I’m confident ICON is here to stay,” Markus noted. The post In Bear Market, Korea’s Biggest Crypto Project ICON Showed Solid Progress appeared first on NewsBTC.

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