OKEx is a cryptocurrency exchange originally from Hong Kong that has opened up a headquarters in Malta, thus allowing it to expand its services in the UK market. OKEx has expressed optimism about cryptocurrency markets in the UK, despite external pressures from Brexit. Some have opined that Brexit might even be good for cryptocurrencies, as people flee the uncertainty of fiat money like GBP in favor of internationalised virtual currencies like Bitcoin BTC.
OKEx representatives said that a robust regulatory framework will be necessary if digital currencies are to enter a new bull run. Such a market movement seems long overdue. Bitcoin has endured a number of Boom-Bust cycles in its decade long history. If history is to repeat itself, the next bull run could begin soon. However, OKEx is right to say that, if such a market recovery is to be meaningful, it must be undergirded by regulatory oversight.
Why is this the case? Well, Bitcoin existed in grey markets for most of its first 10 years of existence. People who bought BTC in its early days did so on unregulated exchanges, in uncertain tax climates, and often spent their Bitcoin on less-than-mainstream goods and services.
Today, Bitcoin has matured far beyond its young internet punk roots. Large exchanges like Gemeni exchange and Coinbase are well regulated, offering investor protections that have not before existed in this industry. This may seem like the end of an era to an early Bitcoin supporter but it’s a welcome industry evolution for people who’ve, until now, watched from the sidelines. For this new crypto investor population, the previous incarnations of the industry were a frightening Wild West of fraud and price volatility. If crypto can demonstrate that it has grown up, we might see millions enter the space for the first time.
Nobody can predict the effect Brexit will have on the UK market. Image: Ivan Marc/Shutterstock.com
Brexit will be a major test. Though no one knows exactly when the UK will exit the EU (if at all!) or what deal it might have in place when it does so, the role of cryptocurrencies will be reexamined by UK residents. No matter what form Brexit takes, the Pound Sterling will almost certainly suffer as a result. Markets hate uncertainty and there’s nothing more uncertain than a national economy decoupling itself from its closest and highest-volume trading partners.
By adding GBP fiat onramps, OKEx is surely trying to increase its market share before the UK finalised Brexit. This will make OKEx a known quantity among British investors before the train goes off the rails. It’s certain that at least some British citizens will put their GBP into Bitcoin as a (hopefully) safe haven during the nation’s last days in the EU. The effect this will have on Bitcoin will be one of the most interesting stories to watch this year so far.
Featured image: Burdun Iliya/Shutterstock.com