What Circle’s UK E-Money Licence Means for Bitcoin and Blockchain
What does this REALLY mean for bitcoin? It is further evidence that bitcoin as a standalone currency is, for many, going to disappear into the background to serve as the unseen middleman in making fiat currency transfers far more effective. Quite an ignominious ending when you consider that bitcoin was envisioned by many as a replacement for fiat currency. Or is it? Far from it! Many have long argued that the true power of bitcoin will only be realised when people don’t realise they are using it. This is just a necessary step in its evolution.
How does it affect the (bitcoin) industry?
Indeed, Circle isn’t doing anything unique here. Using bitcoin as the middleman in traditional fiat money remittance isn’t a new idea. At CoinCorner, we developed a working prototype doing exactly this months ago. Also, don’t be fooled by the term ‘E Money’. It has nothing to do with cryptocurrency or bitcoin. However, what is new is that, despite their apparent disguise, Circle is a bitcoin business that now has a UK regulatory licence. This is positive for bitcoin and if their plan with Barclays works, it will give further credibility to bitcoin and its blockchain.
Bitcoin originally came to global attention as a bad actor. Now it appears as though it may be set for a backstage role. However, as the technology further proves itself with the help of projects like Circle, people will become increasingly comfortable with it. This will help bitcoin step forward once again and take a leading role in its own right.
So, what does this mean for bitcoin’s relationship with the banking elite? At the moment it would appear they have been on a blind date and while bitcoin is keen for a second date, the banks are most certainly not. But could a marriage be on the cards? It’s no secret that banks viewed bitcoin as the ugly duckling. However, it is one persistent ugly duckling. Indeed, there is one element of its personality that is beginning to blossom before their very eyes, namely the blockchain. Alas, for the moment at least, it seems that banks have fallen in love with R3 instead. But all is not lost. The Barclays relationship with Circle shows how forward thinking banks can look past the troublesome early years and see the real potential within. Bitcoin is simply in a period of refinement that will see it reemerge with greater global acceptance and a more rounded personality.
Let us not forget though, that all the time that bitcoin is shackled as the middleman in fiat currency movements, it grows stronger. If bitcoin itself ever reaches the prominence of a standalone, legitimate, second currency which is widely accepted by merchants and retailers, then those fiat currencies which have abusing its good nature by relegating it to a middle man, may be in for a nasty shock. Bitcoin could become the favoured way to remit money globally. At which point it could divorce itself from the fiat currencies it was temporarily married and become the ultimate bachelor. Only time will tell.
Disclaimer: CoinCorner is not a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group and therefore have no interest in promoting Circle 😉
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here represent those of the contributor, not necessarily those of CoinCorner.
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