When London dreams of becoming the financial capital of crypto
After leaving the subject to one side for years, the UK seems to have fallen in love with cryptos. By 2024, the country could have flexible regulation with the aim of competing with the European Union. Is this a realistic ambition? Part one of our report from London.
The sun is shining in London this morning. The buildings of Canary Wharf, the business district in the east of the British capital, are flooded with a clear light that makes the big names in finance stand out: HSBC, Citi, StateStreet...
We just happen to have an appointment for a coffee ☕ ️ with the banker from one of these global giants.
Nick*, who wished to remain anonymous, is not just another banker. He is one of those "traditional" bankers working on cryptocurrency-related projects. These are mainly projects involving the trading and custody of digital assets (crypto and NFTs).
Because of the recent scandals, notably FTX, and the sharp fall in the markets, he has been keeping a rather low profile in recent weeks. "We've seen simpler times," he smiles. 😅
Not easy, in fact, to work in crypto at the moment, especially within a banking institution. But beyond this tricky period, Nick is optimistic because things are moving across the Channel. "We finally have a government that wants to accelerate on cryptos. This is an excellent thing", he is pleased to say.
In fact, while some countries such as the United States have decided to take a much tougher line - Kraken has just been sanctioned by the SEC - the discourse is radically different in the country of King Charles III.
The recent arrival of Rishi Sunak in power is obviously not to blame.