From New York to London

New York has held the title of “Financial Capital of the World” for a long time, but perhaps all of that is about to change. UK Finance Minister George Osborne seems to think so, declaring that “with the right backing from government” they can make London the “fintech capital of the world.”

This announcement came in a speech at London’s Canary Wharf in the east of London, where Osborne said that the government had begun exploring the potential of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

This is a very positive turn of events, especially in light of the proposed “bitlicense” that has come out of the New York Department of Financial Services. The license has been described by an overwhelming majority in the bitcoin tech sphere as too heavy-handed, creating the risk that bitcoin startups will be driven out of New York State. Many say that the license will not help secure people from fraud as it claims to do, but will instead only place unworkable obstruction in front of the innovators trying to develop this technology.

Yesterday in an open letter to the NYDFS (August 5th), the Bitcoin Foundation has argued for an extended comment period on the proposed legislation. They have stated that there needs to be greater cooperation with the bitcoin community and more transparency for the process as a whole.

However, if the proposed license does indeed go through as it stands, perhaps Osborne is right and NYC’s day in the sun has indeed passed.