Sunday, 22 September 2019


Adopted Crypto Currency Policy of the National Liberal Party

Most people may have heard of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin but few will know that it is unregulated I.e. no one will take responsibility if things go wrong. As this link highlights (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49177705) the growth in such currencies has gone hand in hand with the theft and fraud of them (as with fiat currencies) but without any recourse for victims.

Policy

Crypto Currency involves transfers of more than £25,000,000,000 each and every day. Much of that trading activity touches on the United Kingdom. UK Citizens have been defrauded by crypto criminals to the tune of billions. Sophisticated organized crime organizations make use of Companies House shell companies and the .io domain owned by the Crown to carry out many of their schemes with seeming impunity.

The policy of the Financial Conduct Authority (www.fca.org.uk) is troubling:
“Consumers should be mindful of the absence of certain regulatory protections when considering purchasing unregulated cryptoassets. Unregulated cryptoassets (e.g. Bitcoin, Ether, XRP etc.) are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and consumers do not have recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

The current policy is a non-policy. While our government professes to abhor organized crime and money laundering, it takes a hands-off approach to organized crime firms using crypto currency, many of them based in Eastern Europe. The sheer volume of transactions makes this a national security threat.

Therefore it is no surprise that none of the leading political parties in the UK have formulated a workable crypto currency platform.

The Conservative Party claims some regulating is in order but the lack of a coherent policy by the FCA belies that.

2. The Labour Party on the other hand believes Cryptocurrency is a Ponzi Scheme and would regulate it out of business according to Diane Abbot speaking as Shadow Home Secretary.

The National Liberal Party is the only UK political party to offer a coherent platform on cryptocurrency:

1. The NLP believes cryptocurrency is here to stay and offers an alternative to traditional currencies.

2. Criminal use of cryptocurrency however should be vigorously punished and treated as money laundering.

3. Victims of cryptocurrency crime and fraud should be compensated from a fund established by the cryptocurrencies and exchanges that do business in the UK. If a voluntary fund cannot be established, a transactional tax should be imposed to fund the initiative.

4. The misuse of Companies House and Top-Level Domain .io by crypto criminals should be investigated and measures taken to insure the Crown is not an accomplice to crimes.

5. The FCA policy of ignoring cryptocurrency should be reversed and victims given priority.

6. The UK should develop its own set of advanced initiatives designed to promote the responsible use of cryptocurrency and a self-regulation scheme should be promoted.

Therefore, we seek neither to ignore crypto crimes like the Tories or even abet it nor do we seek to heavily regulate like Labour. The NLP seeks a responsible regime where victims have recourse and a strong self-regulatory scheme that will make the UK a center of legitimate cryptocurrency finance and not the center for crypto crimes that it is today.

NLP stands for the future of finance and integrity. We must make the effort to understand new financial technology, not ignore or seek to destroy them. Cryptocurrency and the vast financial transactions involved can supply wealth, capital and jobs if only we take the time to understand and cultivate it in a responsible fashion.

End

[i] The author, Dr. Jonathan Levy, instructs graduate courses in Political Science, International Law and Public Administration and is an active member of the Law Society, Irish Law Society, and California Bar. He is a solicitor with Berlad Graham LLP, London.

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