A five-day long Fintech Week is formally launched in London. Measures to boost fintech growth in the UK are being discussed with particular attention to blockchain-based financial instruments.
As Harriet Baldwin, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, has told in front of the Association of British Insurers, the UK FinTech Week pursues a double aim: the first being to celebrate the UK status as a leading global FinTech hub and the second to maintain this status in the future.
The list of the key events of UK FinTech Week 2016 includes discussions such us “TheCityUK Policymaker Roundtable with HMT on FinTech”, “The London Stock Exchange's FinTech Investor Forum”, “FinTech: rising to the innovation challenge” among others.
Experts expect that among a variety of topics concerning the support and development of fintech in the United Kingdom, particular attention will be focused on the blockchain potential.
As Jonathan Rogers, a partner in the Financial Services Regulatory group at Law Firm TaylorWessing, puts it: "Blockchain's potential uses are almost limitless. It's quicker than traditional methods, decentralised, removes the need for a trusted third party and reduces costs. It's no doubt that we will begin to see an increase in the development of this technology in 2016, but any blockchain system needs to have stability, transparency, certainty of treatment and pricing and a belief of longevity. However, regulatory moves so far appear to embrace block chain with caution." He predicted “a sophisticated, mature use” of the technology behind bitcoin within 5 years without traditional technologies being completely replaced.
In his Fintech Week speech Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at FCA (The Financial Conduct Authority), announced that the regulator is observing the distributed ledger but is not yet going to adopt a stance until a clearer application of the public ledger evolves.
The series of events are officially backed by the British Treasury. The conference was opened at Number 11, Downing Street – the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.