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UK government to start regulating digital currency exchanges

U.K government announced on Wednesday that it would regulate crypto currencies for the first time by applying anti-money laundering rules to the exchanges trading the digital currency. Britain is fast becoming a centre for cryptocurrencies, firming its place as Europe's financial technology, or "FinTech", capital.

In a report released along with finance minister George Osborne's annual budget statement, Britain's Treasury said the new regulation aims to provide support to innovation and prevent illegitimate use of digital currencies. The proposal will be discussed on early in the next parliament session.

Tom Robinson, co-founder of Elliptic and a board member of the UK Digital Currency Association, said the announcement effectively served as a "stamp of approval" from the government.

"It provides enough oversight to provide legitimacy without stifling innovation," he said. "I think it is a good balance between on the one hand the U.S. and specifically New York, which I think have gone too far, and what a lot of countries are doing which is just completely ignoring it."

The Treasury further announced a new research project on crypto currency technology, and said it would inject an additional 10 million pounds ($14.66 million). Working together with the British Standards Association, it plans to develop a set of rules and regulations that will protect consumers, it added.

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