U.K. recognizes cryptocurrencies as 'tradable property'
Huge step underway to understand the crypto industry in the U.K.
The cryptocurrency market in the U.K. has gotten a lot clearer on Monday, as cryptocurrencies were officially recognized as tradable property. The decision is a result of an industry-led effort by the Lawtech Delivery Panel (LDP), a government-backed initiative working to improve the British tech industry.
The U.K. Jurisdiction Taskforce, one of six panels under the LDP, published a paper in which it resolved all of the legal uncertainties surrounding cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology (DLT).
High Court chancellor Sir Geoffrey Vos said the initiative was a watershed moment for the U.K. as it addressed "difficult legal topics in a very approachable and intelligible manner." This is the first time a jurisdiction in the country attempted to understand the industry, he said in a statement.
British law recognizes and defines cryptocurrencies
According to the 46-page legal statement, cryptocurrencies, or "cryptoassets," are tradable property. The statement also recognized smart contracts as valid agreements that are enforceable under local British law, an important distinction that could open up a myriad of new applications for blockchain technology.
U.K. entrepreneur network Tech Nation said this could revolutionize agreements and drastically improve settlement processes for everything from mortgages and medical research to property ownership.
With the World Economic Forum predicting that 10 percent of the global GDP will be stored on the blockchain by 2027, efforts like the one undertaken by the U.K. Jurisdiction Taskforce show that new technologies are being embraced at a rapid pace.
Jenifer Swallow, the director of the Lawtech Delivery Panel, said that a common-law initiative like this supports business growth, clarity in law, and evolution of new tech. Earlier in September, the country’s capital, London, became the world’s most active fintech hub by the number of fundraising deals. This makes it a fertile ground for crypto and blockchain innovation, as there seems to be plenty of optimism in the market.
The overwhelmingly positive sentiment when it comes to fintech and crypto businesses in the country also seems to be resilient to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
A clean bill like this is bound to put blockchain technology into the spotlight and put the U.K. on the map as a leader in crypto innovation.