The snowy environment of the World Economic Forum’s Davos annual conference (known simply as “Davos”) is still not immune from talking about cryptocurrencies, even after an implosion of market prices has been eliminated from the public eye compared to one year.
The chief adviser to Bank of England Governor Huw van Steenis apparently “was not so worried about cryptocurrencies,” after being asked during an interview whether digital assets could “become a serious threat to the stability of [ UK’s, presumably] economy. ”
Van Steenis presented an institutional argument that is repeated often and pointed out that, in his opinion, cryptocurrencies “do not pass the basic tests of financial services: they are not a great unit of exchange, they have no value and they are slower. However, he did admit that “that is at this moment, but they are a threat”.
Van Steenis, who heads BoW’s Future of Finance research report, continued to illustrate what he sees as a more urgent issue within “fintech” in general:
I think the biggest threat is: How do you get non-bank? […] like [banking] It moves to technological platforms. [and as] The banking system is dividing, how to maintain supervision over a much more complex set of companies?
Crypto no = Fintech
Drawing a clear distinction between cryptocurrencies and those “technology platforms”, van Steenis summarizes the difficult situation faced by traditional and larger banks that are threatened by new fintech companies that seek to digitize banking altogether. .
Although he did not mention names, he may refer to services such as Revolut or Uphold, services that not only handle fiduciary currency, but also integrate cryptoassets directly into their functionalities.
He says that the number one issue [among bank CEOs] is: How can they invest in technology to improve their service and defend against such big threats? [fintech] platforms, “adding again that” cryptocurrencies are not high on my list of concerns. ”
United Kingdom is Pro-Crypto
Even if van Steenis sees cryptography as a marginal phenomenon, his fellow UK citizens may not share their opinions on average. CryptoGlobe reported during 2018 of surveys conducted in the United Kingdom, which revealed that most people preferred to receive bitcoins as a gift instead of cash; and that most British people are not interested in a centralized publication.