Last week, wallet provider Blockchain represented the bitcoin industry in an official government trade mission.
CEO Peter Smith was one of 31 executives to take part in a trade delegation, led by Prime Minister David Cameron, to promote the UK's FinTech businesses in Southeast Asia.
While the nation received 42% of Europe's FinTech investment last year, trade body Innovate Finance wants to capture an even greater share of a market still dominated by Silicon Valley and predicted to be worth $46bn by 2020.
Cameron's trade mission coincided with the release of the organisation's 'UK 2020' manifesto which calls for the nation to create over 25 FinTech leaders "whether by IPO, global market share or by valuation".
Though the government has mentioned bitcoin and blockchain technology in its rhetoric to date, Smith's invitation is more concrete evidence it is championing bitcoin businesses as part of its agenda.
Smith told CoinDesk:
The CEO said he was "honoured" to be part of the mission around Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
"The highlight was having the chance to explain bitcoin, and our company, to the Prime Minister while we flew between cities," he added.
Though many of the delegates in attendance had heard of bitcoin, their understanding was limited, Smith said. One of the biggest take-aways from the trip, he said, was the need for better education – which can be something as simple as setting up a bitcoin wallet and receiving funds.
— Peter Smith (@OneMorePeter) July 30, 2015
Stimulating the economy
Under the proposed laws, bitcoin exchanges in the country will be required to adhere to anti-money laundering regulations, meanwhile companies will be able to opt in to consumer protection standards, coordinated with the help of the UKDCA and the British Standards Institution (BSI).
The government's formal consultation on digital currencies is expected to begin this summer.
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