Barclays Pitches UK Finance Regulator on Cryptocurrencies

UK banking giant Barclays is reportedly helping to educate regulators on blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Jun 26, 2017 at 3:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:29 p.m. UTC

Barclays has been in contact with one of UK's top finance regulators, a senior official for the bank said today.

According to Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, the bank communicated with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to bring cryptocurrencies  "into play". Vaswani disclosed the conversations on Monday in an interview with CNBC.

Vaswani did not elaborate what exactly such "play" is, remarking that the bank been working with financial technology startups and the FCA for projects that focus on blockchain.

"We have been talking to a couple of fintechs and have actually gone with the fintechs to the FCA to talk about how we could bring, the equivalent of bitcoin, not necessarily bitcoin, but cryptocurrencies into play," he told the network.

As for how the regulator might react to the push, that remains to be seen.

Though the FCA has played an active role in creating an environment that fosters innovation – the regulator has welcomed a number of blockchain and digital currency related startups into its experimental "sandbox" – it has also expressed caution in recent weeks about investing in cryptocurrencies.

"I am not saying that we view digital currencies as an inherently bad thing … but we do have to exercise a degree of caution," Chris Woolard, the FCA's director of strategy and competition, said during a blockchain-related event earlier this month.

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