UK Government Announces New Cryptocurrency Research Effort

The U.K. government will launch new research aimed to explore the potential risks posed by cryptocurrencies, a minister has said.

AccessTimeIconMar 19, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:42 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Britain's junior finance minister, John Glen, announced Monday that the government will launch new research aimed to explore the potential risks posed by cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

According to a Reuters report, the minister said:

“In our upcoming fintech strategy, the government will announce further work with the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England to consider these issues in more detail. ... The UK is the best place in the world for fintech and my mandate is to ensure it remains such.”

Speaking at the Innovate Finance conference in London, Glen specifically cited concerns about the repercussions arising from the "explosive growth” of cryptocurrencies. At the same time, he said he aims to safeguard London’s position as a leading global hub for fintech experimentation and blockchain technologies.

Glen added that 2017 was a record-breaking year for the U.K.'s fintech sector, attracting investments worth £1.3 billion (roughly $1.8 billion). More than half of those funds reportedly came from abroad, a clear motivation for British regulators to continue welcoming blockchain projects.

Beyond the private sector, the Bank of England (BoE) is perhaps one of the world’s most bullish central banks when it comes to cryptocurrency.

In December 2017, the central bank's chief, Mark Carney, said in December 2017 that bitcoin's price moves don’t appear to threaten global economic stability.

And, last April, the BoE – which also runs a fintech accelerator that welcomes blockchain firms – said it planned to build the next version of its settlement system with distributed ledger tech in mind.

Bank of England image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.