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Bank of England urged to lead the world by developing its own crypto

Bank of England should lead the world by developing its own cryptocurrency, urges former WorldPay boss

The Bank of England should steal a march on the rest of the world and develop a crypto-currency, a fintech entrepreneur has urged.

Ron Kalifa, former boss of payment processing company Worldpay, urged governors at the Bank to embrace the currencies rather than dismiss them as a dangerous fad. He said: ‘Britain should get ahead on this. Why leave it to China?’

In a report on how to improve the UK’s burgeoning fintech sector, he added: ‘Individuals would be able to access central bank money.

Former WorldPay boss Ron Kalifa (pictured) urged bosses at the Bank of England to embrace cryptocurrencies rather than dismiss them as a dangerous fad

‘The UK would be able to take advantage of its mature payment network, and build a more efficient and innovative structure on top of it. The UK would become the first jurisdiction to introduce this innovation.’

To date central banks have urged investors to avoid crypto-currencies. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey warned in September that ‘they have no connection to money at all’. 

But Kalifa disagrees and also urged the Bank to start regulating established coins like bitcoin. 

He said: ‘The UK has the potential to be a leading global centre for the issuance, clearing, settlement, trading and exchange of crypto and digital assets. 

Consumers are likely to benefit if crypto firms become subject to enforceable regulatory standards.’

The report also recommended the London Stock Exchange tear up listing rules in order to attract more fintech firms.

Kalifa warned that the UK risked losing some of the most valuable tech companies to foreign exchanges unless changes are made immediately.

Over the past six years there have been 75 main market fintech listings worldwide – the UK has captured only five.

Kalifa said: ‘With more than a third of UK fintechs surveyed in 2019 expected to undertake an IPO within the next five years, it is critical for the UK to bring the necessary reforms and capitalise on this momentum.’

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