Survey: Four in 10 Brits Don’t Think Crypto Will Be Used as Cash or Card

YouGov internet market research and data analysis group has conducted a survey about cryptocurrency use today and in the future in Great Britain.
The results found that more men than women were interested in the technology, it was a younger crowd who mostly saw Bitcoin and other digital assets’ potential, and just one in five felt that it was a good idea to reject central banking in favour of a cryptocurrency future.
YouGov Survey Provides Insight into U.K.’s Knowledge and Acceptance of Crypto
YouGov took a sample from its 800,000 registered members to determine which demographics in the U.K. were most interested or involved with crypto. This collection of people supposedly represents a diverse range of ages, genders, social classes, and academic backgrounds.
The YouGov website published the outcomes of the series of questions put to the sample today. The first addressed whether the respondents had even heard of Bitcoin. Here, an impressive 93% of Brits said they had.
The follow-up question addressed how many “feel they understand how Bitcoin works.” To this, only 9% of those answering stated that they understood the cryptocurrency “very well.” This compared to 65% who admitted to having the poorest understanding of BTC.
Interestingly, far more men claim to understand the financial and technological innovation than women. Compared to the 39% of men who said they understood Bitcoin either “very well” or “fairly well,” just 14% of women said they felt the same.
As you’d probably expect, young people were much more likely to have a stronger grasp on crypto. Over two in five of those responding to the survey said they understand Bitcoin “fairly well.” This compared with just 16% of those aged over 55. The results on age demographics are in keeping with U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTTC) chair Christopher Giancarlo’s opinion that interest in digital assets is generational.
The survey then addressed who had actually bought Bitcoin. Again, the results support the idea that younger people are more receptive to the ideas of decentralised money and digital scarcity. A total of 45 respondents aged 18-24 said they had either bought the digital asset themselves or knew someone who had. At the other end of the spectrum were those older than 55-years-old again. Just 1% had bought BTC themselves and 7% knew a Bitcoin investor personally.
Next, those involved in the survey were asked if they believed that cryptocurrencies would play an important role in the future of finance. Over one in five respondents stated that they felt digital assets would eventually be as widely used as card or cash payments. The answer distribution between the men and women was much closer in response to this question with 22% of men and 19% of women saying they thought a cryptocurrency future was likely.
Finally and perhaps most telling, the sample was asked about how they felt about the idea of a currency controlled by the public rather than one provided by a centralised institution such as the Bank of England. Just 3% of those asked said they felt “very positive” about the idea and 9% were “fairly positive.” The most popular answer by a sliver was “neutral” at 25%. Just behind was “fairly negative” at 24% and “very negative” at 20%. Finally, 18% of people asked said they didn’t know how to feel about it.
Presumably, if you were to ask the same question in a nation such as Zimbabwe, Turkey, or Venezuela you would get a very different answer. In terms of banks, the Bank of England is one of the least likely to abuse their power and trust in the institution has certainly been reflected in the responses to the survey.
Of course, there are issues with these kinds of online polls. The chief of these is the fact that we must assume that an overwhelming majority of the respondents are computer literate. If they were not, they would be highly unlikely to be a registered member of the YouGov platform in the first place.
This is immediately problematic with a topic such as digital currencies. Since a huge number of those surveyed are obviously regular internet users, they are much more likely to have encountered cryptos previously. The figures are therefore likely exaggerated when compared with a true survey of the entire British public.
Related Reading: Survey: A Quarter of Millennials Hold Crypto, Wary of Current Financial System
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile to be a good store of value: Cryptoassets Taskforce

As Bitcoin [BTC]  and other cryptocurrencies chose to take the downward slope, after several days of the sideways movement, the Cryptoassets Taskforce also released a report on cryptocurrencies and the distributed ledger technology earlier this week.
The task force was launched by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which consists of three main regulatory bodies of the United Kingdom namely, Financial Conduct Authority [FCA], Bank of England and HM Treasury, in the month of March 2018.
The report underlines that irrespective of Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies being used as a “means of exchange”, they are not declared as money by either the Bank of England and G20 Finance Ministers or Central Bank governors. They quote cryptocurrencies’ high volatility as one of the reasons for them to be not considered as money.
The report stated:
“They are too volatile to be a good store of value, they are not widely-accepted as means of exchange, and they are not used as a unit of account”
The report also emphasizes that Bitcoin was originally created to be a means of exchange, however, in the current scenario, most of the people are holding the coin as an investment.
Furthermore, it stated that there are around 500 stores, bars, and coffee shops that accept Bitcoin as an option for payment, out of which, few mainstream portals have stopped supporting payments via cryptocurrencies. In addition, the daily trade volume of Bitcoin against sterling in the UK is close to 0.33% in comparison to daily trade volume.
Cryptocurrency assets and current regulation | Source: Cryptoassets Taskforce
The Taskforce stated that because of concerns related to customer protection and market integrity in the cryptocurrency market, the Financial Conduct Authority will seek information regarding the ban on Bitcoin [BTC[ derivates. However, the ban will not be imposed on cryptocurrency derivatives, which have been qualified as securities. They stated:
“[…] the FCA will consult on a prohibition of the sale to retail consumers of all derivatives referencing exchange tokens such as Bitcoin, including CFDs, futures, options and transferable securities […] however CFDs on securities would remain subject to ESMA’s temporary restrictions and any future FCA proposals to implement permanent measures in relation to CFDs”.
The post Bitcoin [BTC] and other cryptocurrencies are too volatile to be a good store of value: Cryptoassets Taskforce appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

Report Warns MPs That Regulations Could Threaten UK’s Crypto Market

A report has warned U.K. MPs to thread carefully when creating regulations to govern the nation’s digital currency sector.
The document is in response to plans made by MPs to place the U.K.’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), at the centre of a crack down on money laundering and other crimes facilitated by crypto.
Report Argues That Crypto Companies Could Relocate to More Welcoming Jurisdictions
Lawmakers of the U.K. have been mulling how to regulate the “wild west” that is the digital currency space for some time now.
However, according to a report co-authored by the British Business Federation Authority (BBFA), law firm Baker Botts, digital asset exchange platform TodaQ, and venture capital fund Novum Insights, the wrong approach could hurt the U.K.’s rapidly evolving financial technology industry.
The report responds to the plan proposed by members of parliament to make the FCA the centre of a crypto crackdown. MPs have been calling for the FCA to have their “Regulated Activities Order” extended so that it can police the industry. It also states that the proposed approach is “ashamedly geared around Bitcoin” and that such a policy would likely end up unfairly penalising other digital assets.
According to a report in the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper, Patrick Curry, CEO of the BBFA, also stated that a heavy-handed approach to regulations in the British Isles would encourage exchanges and other businesses associated with the industry to move to more welcoming jurisdictions such as Malta.
To damage such a new and potentially revolutionary sector so early on would negatively impact the U.K. going forward – particularly in the wake of Brexit. Ultimately, the authors state that “bad regulation is worse than no regulation at all”.
Curry went on to tell the publication:
“It is a very blunt instrument approach and I haven’t seen this in other countries. The use of this technology is still a voyage of discovery and these technologies are being refined for different types of use. My concern is the law of unintended consequences.”
Echoing Curry is Neil Foster of law firm Baker Botts. He called for a more sophisticated approach to regulation. For him, it makes little sense to impose blanket regulations on all digital assets. He stated:
“With sophisticated classification we should work out what could be a regulated activity. If you crowbar everything into the Regulated Activities Order you are making everything into an investment bank.”
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Can Blockchain Solve Brexit Border Woes? UK Finance Minister Believes So

Phillip Hammond, the U.K. finance minister, stated yesterday that blockchain technology could help smooth trade across the Irish border after the U.K. leaves the European Union. However, Hammond is the first to admit that he has no idea what he is talking about.
UK Minister Relies on Poor Understanding of Tech in the Wake of Failing Negotiations
There is ever-growing concern about how the U.K. leaving the European Union next year will impact the U.K. itself, as well as their European neighbours. Since it is the only nation to share a border with any of the U.K. and naturally does a huge amount of trading with the departing country, Ireland is thought to be one of the nation’s most heavily impacted by Brexit.
In addressing the growing issue of how Ireland will be able to continue to trade with the U.K. after the leaving date, the U.K.’s finance minister, Phillip Hammond, cited blockchain as a technology that could potentially alleviate much of the concerns. According to Reuters, he said:
“There is technology becoming available (…) I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology is blockchain.”
Such a statement should be of immediate concern to anyone with anything to lose from Brexit or those who understand blockchain technology. Evidently, Hammond falls into the former category exclusively.
The issue is with the Irish border. Years of conflict have raged on either side of that particular line on the map and the uneasy peace established in the late 1990s rests largely on the ability that the Southern neighbour has to do trade with the U.K. to the north.
With so much currently unknown about the nature of a Brexit deal, there is no clear indication if such trade will be able to continue.
For Hammond to claim that a distributed database can in any way improve the fate of Ireland’s trade in the wake of a hard Brexit is ridiculous. Whereas a blockchain can be used to monitor supply chains (the efficiency of using such a system with our current technology over a standard database remains to be seen), there is absolutely nothing about a blockchain that makes them well-suited for reducing necessary border checks on goods in the event that a hard border between the U.K. and Ireland is the fallout from Brexit.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work on blockchains because they are purely digital. Traded goods are not.
Rather, it seems that Hammond has been sold snake oil by the likes of Reply LTD with their “Blockchain for Brexit” report (cited by the Financial Times), or perhaps is trying to sound like he has a firmer grasp on the situation that he clearly does.
Public blockchains are great for certain things – security and immutability – but that doesn’t mean they are the solution to every problem ever. They are expensive to run in a properly decentralised manner and at the end of the day, most applications touting the tech probably don’t need the level of security afforded by a true blockchain.
The issue with the Irish border isn’t a trust one, it’s political. Blockchain removes the need for parties to trust one another and it does it very well, but at a great cost. To protect a multi-billion-dollar network, like Bitcoin, it’s perfect. There is no reason whatsoever to think it can speed up the process of trading goods across a border.
It’ll be interesting to see how Hammond develops his blockchain solution for the Irish border in the months leading up to the Brexit date. He probably should start by learning what one is and isn’t.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New

Stablecoin Craze Flows To The UK,  Start-up To Develop ‘Crypto Pound’

Over the past few months, there have been quite a few stable coin launches in the United States as investors are demanding it. A similar demand wave seems to be starting across the Atlantic in the UK, as a UK based start-up has now announced that it would be developing a stable and tokenized version of the British Pound.
LBXPeg: A new cryptocurrency pegged to the British Pound
A UK startup has announced plans to launch a new cryptocurrency pegged to the British pound. The London Block Exchange, which does over-the-counter crypto trades and is building a crypto exchange and card, announced that it has received permission from an unnamed banking partner to launch a new cryptocurrency, which is currently being dubbed as the LBXPeg, backed by reserves of UK sterling.
The one-for-one reserves equivalent coin will be held in an account at the third party bank assuring coin holders an assured backing of the British Pound. LBX’s CEO, Benjamin Dives, was also quoted saying that the reserves will also be regularly audited by a top accountancy firm. He also added that he believes the LBXPeg will be the first so-called “stablecoin” to be pegged to the pound.
To quote Benjamin as covered by some media:
“We would be ready for the first crypto pound to be minted in the next 10 days,” Dives told Business Insider.
“The primary use case will be a settlement for OTC trades in the London market, then commonwealth exchanges where they don’t have fiat banking, and then securities tokens who want to pay dividends in a crypto pound.”
Stablecoins still a favorite among investors, traders, and exchanges
Stablecoins shot to popularity last year thanks to the rise of Tether, a cryptocurrency pegged to the dollar. As these cryptocurrencies prices are pegged to real-world assets, usually the dollar, they play an important role in providing price stability of a mainstream currency but still retain their interoperability and digital nature. Hence they are in great demand among investors, traders, and exchanges as they provide temporary protection in mitigating the volatility of cryptocurrencies.
But slowly these seem to be becoming a bridge between the traditional and digital financial worlds as new investors find comfort in holding them and gain understanding first before jumping into crypto investing. With stable coins, popularity continuous to grow among the trader community, these new investors who want a slice of cryptocurrency are also adding to its rising demand.
The demand for these stablecoins is so huge that according to a report released by crypto wallet provider Blockchain said there are now over 50 stablecoin projects under development. The report states that 23 stablecoins (40%) are live and 34 stablecoins (60%) are at the pre-launch phase.
Also, read: Decentralization Ghost begins to Haunt Gemini’ Stable Coin within Days of Launch
Adoption of stable coins
The report also states that the adoption of stable coins has been superlative as
“The total market value of all stablecoins is $3 billion, or 1.5% of the total market value of all crypto assets; Tether comprises 93% of the all stablecoin market value”
Tether (USDT) is the second most actively traded cryptocurrency (~60% of BTC daily trading volume) and earlier this year it also entered the top-10 crypto asset rankings by market value.
As far as listing on exchanges are concerned the report states,
“Stablecoins are listed on over 50 different exchanges at present, with Tether featuring the greatest number of total individual exchange listings (at least 46) “
“Stablecoins have had success gaining listings on major exchanges, with eight stablecoins (42% of live coins) featuring one or more Tier-1 exchange listings: Tether (6), TrueUSD (5), SteemDollar (4), NuBits (2), BitBay (2), Gemini (2), Paxos (2), Numins (1), STASIS (1), HelloGold (1)”
With stablecoins booming in the US, a new entrant from the UK would make the competition healthier. Having stablecoins in various currencies will help in getting more people into cryptos as they would have a stable home currency token to bet on in crypto markets.
Will we some stable coins from Asia as well? Do let us know your views on the same.  
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Source: CoinGape

Most Bitcoin Bullish News: No-Deal Brexit Nightmare to Bring in Severe Consequences    

The UK is tightening the noose as it states a no-deal Brexit would lead to several consequences viz. companies would suffer from red tape, costly payments, and border delays while Britons living in EU can lose access to their UK bank accounts. This will certainly become a catalyst for Bitcoin adoption and boom as people move to crypto.
Brexit to be the catalyst for the Bitcoin boom, UK bank deal solidifies it
According to the latest reports, if Britain leaves the EU with no deal, the Britons residing in the European Union might not have any access to their bank accounts.
The Britons will be able to use the bank cards to withdraw money in EU countries but more than 1 million citizens of UK living outside the country won’t be able to use their British accounts to either make deposits or borrow.
Additionally, contracts like annuities that pay pension might not be accessible while the banks offering these services can also be impacted.
Britain further stated that the companies that are trading with EU would also face a red tape, costly credit card payments, and border delays if the govt. doesn’t negotiate an exit deal before Britain leaves.
Brexit nightmare: Threats are rising, Bitcoin is the answer
Reuters reported that
“Brexit minister Dominic Raab played down the threat that tens of thousands of British retirees in the EU – many of whom live on the Spanish Mediterranean coast – could lose access to their pensions.”
Furthermore, the UK won’t decide the debt issued by EU as “zero risks”  for which banks may have to raise additional capital. Due to the absence of no mutual recognition rules, the bank holding penalized securities would either have to raise capital or sell their holdings in the Brexit needled market, similarly, British banks would be penalized by EU supervisors.
Additional layers of supervision, adverse liquidity, and capital consequences would be faced by banks due to UK’s no-deal Brexit.
However, this would certainly mean good things for Bitcoin as Max Keiser shares with his Tweet,
“UK/EU banks are committing leveraged suicide en masse. Most bullish #Bitcoin news of 2018,”
further Tweeting:

Incredibly bullish for #Bitcoin. UK’s ‘Big Four’ banks’ insolvency laid bare. @AskLloydsBank @Barclays @RBS @HSBC
— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) August 24, 2018

From the circulation of goods to the businesses, everything will be affected that will only cause sterling to drop further. This would present a great opportunity for the investors to buy Bitcoin with sterling. Bitcoin will serve as a safe haven for investors who will be looking to move away from the fiat speculation and find a hedge to safeguard their wealth.

This could be great for #bitcoin @maxkeiser .. Britons in EU could lose access to UK bank accounts under no-deal Brexit
— Stuart (@stuchi1975) August 23, 2018

People are already moving or have moved to Bitcoin as the Brexit chaos keeps on getting bigger and messier.

If you haven't already, now might be a good time to buy some #Bitcoin
— Paul Melton (@Shadhammer) August 23, 2018

Prepare yourselves for a "No Deal Brexit", and buy Bitcoin. I refuse to back government money. This is their fault.
— Eddie Bitcoin 'Blockchain' (@ChainOfBlocx) August 23, 2018

No-Deal Brexit is only going to boost Bitcoin adoption as businesses and money get affected. Furthermore, a rise in the cost of credit card payments, processing of payments and red tape can be eliminated through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So, it’s time that Bitcoin rise to the power!
The post Most Bitcoin Bullish News: No-Deal Brexit Nightmare to Bring in Severe Consequences     appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

UK Regulator Warns Investors of Rising Cryptocurrency Scams

The Financial Conduct Authority, UK’s financial watchdog, is reminding consumers that cryptocurrency scams are rising in the country. Residents in the United Kingdom who decide to invest in Bitcoin or any other virtual currency are not protected by the regulatory framework given that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the FCA.
£2 Million Lost In Cryptocurrency Scams In June And July Alone
A warning of cryptocurrency scams first made in June has been re-posted by the UK regulator to let consumers know that fraudulent schemes are on the rise.
“UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by cryptocurrency-related investment scams […] Cryptocurrency fraudsters tend to advertise on social media, often using the images of celebrities or well-known individuals to promote cryptocurrency investments. […] The firms operating the scams are usually based outside of the UK but will claim to have a UK presence, often a prestigious City of London address.”
Cryptocurrency swindles include posting images of celebrities supposedly endorsing said coins or tokens, according to the statement. The regulator has observed a rising number of reports about virtual currency scams, but its regulatory framework does not protect UK residents that choose to trade their fiat currency for any digital coin or token.
Britain’s financial watchdog has recently warned about two scams that involve companies impersonating respectable UK traders. Good Crypto and Fair Oaks Crypto have quoted the two legitimate firm’s addresses and Firm Reference Numbers as part of the swindle, the FCA said.
A report by the National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre said that approximately £2 million has been lost in cryptocurrency scams in June and July alone this year, an average of £10,095.59 per person. The statement noted that the most prevalent methods used by scammers are cold calls and social media-based campaigns.
Fraudsters are able to convince victims to sign up to their websites and provide sensitive information such as credit card details and driving licenses to open a trading account.  Victims are then persuaded to make sizable first deposits before realizing it is a fraud, said Director of Action Fraud Pauline Smith.
“It’s vital for anyone who invests or is thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies to thoroughly research the company they are choosing to invest with. The statistics show that opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of this market, offering investments in cryptocurrencies and using every trick in the book to defraud unsuspecting victims.”
As the FCA handles a rising number of virtual currency scam cases, the regulator announced it has launched investigations into 24 different cryptocurrency companies. In March 2018, a task force was also established with the Bank of England and the Treasury to develop UK’s policy thinking on crypto assets.
Image from Shutterstock
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Source: New

UK’s Largest Bank HSBC Showing Interest in Crypto Market, Making a Calculative Exploration

UK’s biggest and world’s 7th largest bank, HSBC is cautiously looking into cryptocurrencies, however, denies to be interested right now that could change in future. Given the way banking giants like Goldman Sachs and SBI holdings are embracing crypto and a new report stating UK to be well-placed to become a leader in crypto and blockchain, the interest might be coming sooner than later.

World’s 7th largest bank “Cautiously” looking into Crypto

One of the world’s largest and UK’s top banking and financing services organization, HSBC seems to get attracted to cryptocurrencies after all. HSBC is not a complete stranger to the world of cryptocurrency as it has already launched a blockchain pilot in May. Moreover, the bank is also planning to join Standard Chartered along with 21 other banks for a blockchain-based trade finance platform.

The world’s seventh largest bank is reportedly cautiously interested in crypto market and already looking into it.

Josh Bottomley, the Global Head of Digital at HSBC, in an interview with Forbes, revealed, “We are cautious looking into this area.”

Before managing the digital strategy for both the retail and wealth management department of HSBC, Bottomley was leading the display advertising arm of Google.

Talking about the approach HSBC is taking towards crypto, he shares,

“There’s a use case when you have a token or currency that’s actually useful for a particular purpose, and it serves that need.”

As for the leading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH),  Bottomley emphasizes the non-interest part for now, “But that is very different from if it’s pure speculation. Right now we’re not interested in that at all…but it might change.”

Apparently, the volatility is the primary concern as he clarifies,

“One of the criteria we use is if an asset class is showing incredible volatility up and down. For the vast majority of our customers, that makes it an inappropriate saving or investment vehicle.”

Also, read: Goldman Sachs: Why New CEO Could Turn Tables Towards Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin?

UK well-placed to become a leader in Crypto & Blockchain

According to the latest report, UK is in a strong position to become a leader in blockchain technologies and crypto economy. According to the analysis of the Big Innovation Centre, DAG Global and Deep Knowledge Analytics, the availability of the required resources combined with government support will help it become a global hub.

The CEO of DAG Global, Sean Kiernan,

“The UK is a major global financial hub and in recent years has become a fintech leader as well. At the same time, it is starting to demonstrate significant potential to become a leader in blockchain technologies and the crypto economy.”

“The gap between the two worlds of traditional finance and crypto economy remains, but in the coming years we can expect this to lessen and eventually disappear.”

For now, the bank is only cautiously exploring the crypto market, but this part alone is a potential step and shows their interest despite claiming to be not interested right now.

Names like Goldman Sachs and SBI Holdings have already made their move. Given the fact that banking and financial giants all over the world are working on embracing bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, in order to compete and maintain its position in the world finance market, HSBC has to sooner or later make the potential step forward.

The post UK’s Largest Bank HSBC Showing Interest in Crypto Market, Making a Calculative Exploration appeared first on Coingape.

Source: CoinGape

Hodler’s Digest, July 9-15: While Mining ETH is a ‘Side Hustle’ for Google Co-Founder, Mining BTC for Russians May Fund Election ‘Interference’

More than 80 percent of ICOs in 2017 are identified as “scams,” while the UK sees crypto becoming mainstream within a decade — read more in our Hodler’s Digest

Source: Coin Telegraph