Former Innovate Finance chief executive Charlotte Crosswell has said the UK needs to act now and ensure it becomes one of the thought leaders in cryptocurrency regulation.
Speaking in a public interview hosted by the Centre for the study of Financial Innovation, Crosswell (pictured), who is managing director of advisory firm Exadin and serves on the department for international trade’s financial services trade advisory group, said the UK must stay ahead of this growing sector and take advantage of its opportunities.
She also highlighted that it needs to protect investors about the risks associated with cryptocurrencies to ensure they don’t “unknowingly get their fingers burned”.
“We see the risks and we have to protect investors who don’t understand what they’re doing,” Crosswell said.
“Something really important from the UK perspective is we also need to ensure we’re becoming one of the thought leaders in the crypto regulation.
“I think it’s a real challenge, nobody knows quite how to manage this. It needs global thinking. We don’t want a race to the bottom or the top.”
Crosswell called for more collaboration between stakeholders to ensure the UK’s place at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulation.
“I think there is an opportunity, you have got the Bank of England’s central bank digital currency taskforce (CBDC), it’s going to happen and consumers will be driving it forward,” she added.
“Let’s make sure we stay ahead of that and are really thinking about wanting to manage that opportunity there. We know over the next 10 to 20 years it will grow. We have to recognise this is happening and we can either let it happen to us or work with it to take it forward.
“We now want to do something with the taskforce that has started, over the next 20 to 30 years the UK would want to be one of the standard setters for this but we have to move on that now otherwise it will happen to us.
“We’re having the same discussion around big tech and data privacy. This is happening anyway, so we need to ensure we’re on the front foot.”
On 1 May, Crosswell stepped down as chief executive of fintech trade association Innovate Finance after a four year tenure and was replaced by interim chief executive Janine Hirt.