Last month, we here at miningpool.co.uk ran a survey attempting to get a feel for the Bitcoin community in the United Kingdom.
While we will have more stories originating from the outcome of the survey, today we would like to reveal arguably the most surprising results: only 13% of respondents indicated that they have a negative perception of the UK government’s recent actions towards Bitcoin. Meanwhile, nearly half of the respondents, 48% indicated that they approve of the UK government’s stance on the digital currency.
13% of respondents stated that they disagree with the UK government’s position on Bitcoin, while 48% agreed with the government’s position and 39% were unsure.
The survey was advertised here on miningpool.co.uk and social networks so it can be assumed that the group is likely skewed towards people who have enough reason to be interested in Bitcoin to visit a bitcoin-centric site. With that in mind, the results should be considered a look at the UK’s Bitcoin community and not the UK population as a whole.
That makes the results all the more surprising. One would expect, especially this writer living in the United States with its strong libertarian sects, that Bitcoin users would be against any and all regulation. However, UK users, by contrast, seem to be open to the idea of sensible regulation and seem to have credited their government with taking a reasonable approach relating to the digital currency. The exact wording used in the survey was “Do you think the government’s outlined steps are positive or negative for Bitcoin?”
Back in March, the UK Government released a report stating that digital currencies were “an interesting development” in the financial world that holds “potential advantages” over traditional financial tools. In that same report however, they announced that they would be applying AML (anti-money laundering laws) to digital currency exchanges. That news was complimented with the announcement that a regulatory sandbox where start up financial companies could operate with minimal regulation assuming an educated user base, would be set up.
It probably wasn’t a coincidence that a little more than a month later, Bitcoin giant Coinbase dipped its toes into the UK waters and Bitcoin friendly bank Fidor also expanded into the United Kingdom. During the process, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong called the Financial Conduct Authority “forward thinking” and said they were “very easy to work with”.
While UK regulation is far stricter than some other countries (not the least of which is its own Crown Dependency, the Isle of Man, which has become a Bitcoin haven of sorts.) they seem to have found that sweet spot that helps legitimatize the digital currency without hindering innovation.
Or, at least, that seems to be the opinion of UK users and Bitcoin capitalists.