UK is well placed to take the lead in cryptocurrency – Financial Times

According to a recent report published by the Financial Conduct Authority, investors buy cryptoassets to “get rich quick” without “much or any research” (fastFT, March 7).

I welcome this report. It is a useful indicator of consumer attitudes towards cryptocurrency and demonstrates some of the risks posed to investors. It also demonstrates why the UK is best placed to take advantage of this emerging technology.

One actionable way of mitigating the risks detailed in the report is through consumer education, which Coinbase has committed to. Another is regulation, for which there is an urgent need. The “get rich quick” attitude of some consumers has been fuelled by misleading advertising practises and, at times, outright fraud. The same advertising regulations that apply to financial products should equally apply to cryptocurrency.

At the same time, the fact that almost a third of UK consumers are aware of cryptocurrency represents an incredible success story for what remains a young technology. High consumer awareness and adoption give businesses in this space a distinct advantage and will help London reinforce its position as the financial centre of the world, even in finance 2.0.

Digital currencies will inevitably replace traditional forms of currency and the FCA’s research shows that, once again, the UK is ready to lead the way.

Zeeshan Feroz
London EC2, UK

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