London could use cryptos as a post-Brexit advantage says ex-Chancellor Hammond
Ex-Chancellor says regulation and clarity is needed, however
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Philip Hammond believes cryptos could give London a competitive edge over its European competitors in a post-Brexit world.
However, Lord Hammond believes the UK must move quickly to establish some regulatory clarity for London to truly embrace the competitive edge of cryptos.
Lord Hammond joined Copper, a UK group that specialises in cryptocurrency custody and trading for institutional investors, as a senior adviser in October.
He provides strategic advice to the Copper team, as the company expands globally. The company, set up in 2018, announced the launch of its US east-coast office in August this year and has plans to expand into Asia as well.
In an interview with City A.M., Lord Hammond said: “I personally think the momentum is now unstoppable. We need to move quickly and effectively to secure London’s position.”
The former Chancellor also cautioned: “If we don’t watch carefully, we will find some surprising people are ahead of us.” Referencing European competitors, Lord Hammond noted that they see digital currencies as a way of overtaking the UK as a global financial services hub.
‘Cryptos are inevitable’
The former Chancellor, states that “most institutions”, regardless of whether or not they are a fan of cryptos, know that the adoption of digital currencies “is going to happen”.
Despite Lord Hammond not holding any cryptos himself, he believes blockchain technology could mould future trading systems.
‘Taken its eye off the ball’
Lord Hammond said that due to Brexit, London’s regulatory community has taken “its eye off the ball on some newer technology developments”.
“If we’re being very honest about it, we have already allowed others to get ahead of us. Regulators have been heavily distracted,” he said.
The European Union (EU) has already introduced draft crypto rules to give some clarity to the space – the MiCA framework pushes for centralised supervision of crypto markets and gives guidelines for consumer protection.
However, Lord Hammond added: “They can’t replicate a financial services centre on the scale of London and therefore we still have the ball in our court. But we do need to move pretty quickly to show that this technology is recognised and accepted by legislators and regulators in the UK.”