Brexit deal got EU approval; What’s up with Blockchain?

Brexit deal got EU approval; What’s up with Blockchain?

It does not matter what Nigel Farage, one of the fathers of the Brexit movement, said this week that the United Kingdom and the European Union divorce agreement was the worst deal in history, the European Commission approved it this weekend, and the UK Parliament will back it before Christmas.

However, what’s going on in the blockchain and crypto industry in a post-Brexit era?

As we all well know it, London has been a financial hub for decades. All economic cycles, financial trends and new technologies passed across the city’s institutions from the beginning of the industrial revolution until today. So, what will happen now with the blockchain revolution after the Brexit deal?

Brexit blockchain effect: Coinbase goes to Ireland

Well, the first movement was done by California-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in October as the company announced a new office in Dublin to work with London in the European Union market.

Actually, Coinbase had offices in London, but the UK decision to leave the European Union raised concerns about the operability of London offices in European circuits. The mention about “cities across the EU” in their announcement made it clear.

“We explored a variety of cities across the EU, and Dublin was the clear choice.”

According to the press release, as Coinbase scales, “we need to attract the best, most qualified and passionate talent to help us achieve our mission of creating an open financial system for the world.”

Blockchain believers ask for central banks solutions

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are getting new adepts every week. Earlier this year, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond said that blockchain might solve Brexit’s UK-Irish border issue.

A topic raised this week after the Brexit deal.

“There is technology becoming available […] I don’t claim to be an expert on it but the most obvious technology is blockchain,” Hammond said in a Conservative Party Conference.

More recently, IMF chief Christine Lagarde raise a voice for Central Bank to build their digital currencies as a way to stay in the loop and to take profit of this disruptive technology.

In a conference called “Winds of Change: The Case for New Digital Currency,” Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde stated that central banks all over in the world should consider issuing digital currencies to make transactions more efficient and less risky.

Lagarde did not relate the issue to a Brexit matter, but the Bank of England is one of the most important central banks in the world. The bank has also supported blockchain solutions as they have a blockchain technology accelerator focused on fintech companies.

It wouldn’t be the first time the United Kingdom and European countries work with a virtual currency as they used to do with the ECU, as an internal accounting unit created in 1979, and with the Euro, when it was launched in a non-physical form back in the years, and as a replacement of the ECU in 1999.

A new regulation for blockchain and cryptocurrency firms?

As London and the United Kingdom are a financial hub, most companies are regulated under the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and authorised to operate in the European Union under the MiFID II. So, what will happen now?

That would be one of the reasons Coinbase move to Ireland, but what about other blockchain startups. The post-Brexit era will start on March 2019 when, in theory, EU financial rules will not affect UK internal operations, so they will be able to create their own financial framework.

It opens new possibilities, but will it happen? Two good examples are the Blockchain and Bitcoin environments in Malta, the so-called Blockchain island, and Gibraltar, where official managed to provide a pro-blockchain framework for startups and entrepreneurs.

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