Barclays holds discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority to launch cryptocurrency in the UK

26 June 2017

BarclaysBarclays is negotiating with the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom the possibility of the bank’s enabling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in the country. Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays, noted that the bank held discussions with a number of fintech startups to approach the FCA over the ways to create a digital currency equivalent to bitcoin in the UK.

Vaswani added that while this area is new for their business, and they need to exercise due care about the technology, Barclays is paving the way to the new industry. The FCA states that they do not prohibit banks from trading cryptocurrencies and delivering services related thereto to the companies dealing with such blockchain projects as Bitcoin, still the regulator enjoins prudence and calls upon the banks to be careful and cautious.

In 2016 Barclays participated in the investment into Circle, payments provider for social media, that offers transactions in Bitcoin, fiat currencies like pounds and dollars, and money transfers within a number of popular messaging services. Besides, Barclays held a pilot test in 2015 to trial the donations made to charities in digital currencies.

Vaswani abstained from providing further details on the bank’s work on cryptocurrency, still Barclays is examining the technology behind Bitcoin. Vaswani added that despite the technology is not year ready for prime time, the bank will get there soon.

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