UK: Government confirms its intentions to wrap its arms around crypto-currency

 In his Budget speech delivered in 17 March, the Chancellor confirmed the Government’s plans with regard to crypto-currency, with detailed contained within a published Treasury document.

The Government intends:

  • to apply anti-money laundering regulation to digital currency exchanges in the UK (the Government will formally consult on the proposed regulatory approach early in the next Parliament);
  • to ensure that law enforcement bodies have effective skills, tools and legislation to identify and prosecute criminal activity relating to digital currencies, including the ability to seize and confiscate digital currency funds where transactions are for criminal purposes;
  • to work with BSI (British Standards Institution) and the digital currency industry to develop voluntary standards for consumer protection.
  • to launch a new research initiative which will bring together the Research Councils, Alan Turing Institute and Digital Catapult with industry in order to address the research opportunities and challenges for digital currency.

This announcement is contained within a document published by the Treasury, following the analysis of various data it received after a call for information late last year. The Treasury’s document can be found here.