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a16z: UK Light Years Ahead Of The US For Crypto


Speaking from the Financial Times’ Digital Assets Summit in London yesterday, a16z’s Brian Quintez sung the praises of the UK as an emerging hub for crypto and digital assets.

Quintez said that “the UK is on the right path to creating an appropriately calibrated, scoped, nuanced, and principles-based regulatory framework that can protect consumers while also promoting the innovation that we think is important.”

He suggested that policymakers and regulators in the UK are more understanding of the nature of crypto as a decentralised form of finance, despite the problems that has posed for their counterparts in the US. “The core thesis behind this technology is decentralisation – that’s a hard construct for policymakers to understand and regulators to get right, but we see that nuance here and we want to embrace the future of that. That is why we established our first ever international office here in the UK,” Quintez noted.

While also highlighting the significant amount of “technical talent and capital” that the UK is home to, Quintez argued that a key reason for a16z’s move to the UK is “the open company regulation.”

“In a matter of months, we think the UK has an opportunity to be lightyears ahead of the United States – it’s getting that regulatory regime right, in a way that protects consumers and allows the innovation,” he said. “The UK has a really entrepreneurial culture: the best and brightest want to go start a company or go work for a start-up.”

Quintez’s comments come at a time when major crypto entrepreneurs around the world are seeking to shift assets and personnel away from the United States – creating opportunities for emerging crypto hubs in London, Dubai, and other cities.

At the Dubai Fintech Week in May, Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse slammed the Securities and Exchange Commission and advised crypto firms: “don’t start up in the US.”

“What’s happening in the US is sad. You have a country that is putting politics ahead of policy, and that’s not a good decision […] the United States is definitely stuck,” he said. As the SEC continues to initiate lawsuits against Ripple, Coinbase, and other crypto firms, Garlinghouse noted that “we’ve spent $200 million defending ourselves against a lawsuit which, from its very beginning, people though was nonsense. The first piece of advice I’d give to any entrepreneur is not to start up in the United States.” He added that most of their hiring was taking place in London, Singapore, and Dubai as a result.

Quintez’s comments at the Financial Times’ Digital Asset Summit are another sign of the extent to which US markets are distrusted by crypto entrepreneurs. The UK government, which has introduced several measures designed to bolster the credentials of London as a hub for decentralised finance, will be hoping that the US’ loss can be the UK’s gain.

Author: Harry Clynch

#a16z #Crypto #DigitalAssets #Regulation #London

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