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Bitcoin's UK Future Looks Bleak


Bitcoins could be a technological revolution. Technological revolutions generally move fast. The countries that could benefit the most from these fast moving technologies are the ones that position themselves early on to benefit from the progression these technologies offer.




Germany has taken an admirable lead rethinking it's position on digital currencies and recognising them as "units of account". Canada seems to be an ideal place for launching new Bitcoin related technologies such as the Bitcoin ATM.

Governments moving towards regulation of Bitcoin seem to have a dichotomising effect on the Bitcoin community. One side wishing to see governments embrace Bitcoin, regulate and support it. The other side viewing Bitcoin as an opportunity to totally separate money from government.

Convincing one side to consider the other sides point of view is difficult, there isn't much middle ground to edge into and these opinions generally stem from deep rooted basal life philosophies. All each side can do is pursue their beliefs by doing what they think is right and progressive which is why I decided to attempt to encourage progressive government interest in Bitcoin.
The Worst Outcome

One outcome both sides can agree on is that a government that views Bitcoin negatively and takes steps to outlaw its usage or possession would hurt everyone (in the short term at least). Not just people who hold Bitcoins, but wider society. Putting the boot on Bitcoin and trying to drown it chokes development of exciting opportunities and keeps it penned in as a fringe and obscure technology, furthering its inaccessibility to the general public.

What exciting and revolutionary developments exactly would be choked is impossible to say. When the Internet was first developed I'm not sure anyone could have predicted the numerous monumental benefits it offers society today.

UK Banking

As anyone in the UK who has attempted to open a bank account to run a Bitcoin business knows, as it stands your chances are slim to none. My credit history was checked and passed (phew!), I had a decent size of starting capital, my business plan had no borrowing or lending requirements and I had evidence from HMRC to show that the business did not come under the scope of Money Laundering Regulations. All that was needed for me to operate my humble Bitcoin selling business in the UK was a simple bank account.

Their refusal for opening the account was shrouded in mystery. I spent a few hours with our current banking providers talking to various people trying to simply get an explanation, and no one would give me one. Eventually they wrote to me and told me they refuse to give me a reason as it would "divulge trade secrets". This secrecy is a defensive tactic to protect them from claims of anti-competitive behaviour. Resigning information you are not required to divulge can rarely work in your favour.

Banks have deeply entrenched themselves into society. We've reached a stage now where banks act as gatekeepers for new startups in the UK, without their authorisation good luck on running a business. There is a severe conflict of interest here especially when you consider Bitcoins potential to take large bites out of their most profitable operations; for example the remittance industry.

But more on the banks later...

by Tom Gullen | 11th, November 2013
Tom is a web developer, drummer and passionate Bitcoin advocate.

Vendredi 22 Novembre 2013
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