Why Big Tech Is Winning: The UK Admission

August 31, 2021

I read “UK’s FCA Say It Is Not Capable of Supervising Crypto Exchange Binance.” This is a paywalled story, and I am not sure how much attention it will get. As Spotify is learning from locking up the estimable Joe Rogan, paywalls make sense to a tiny slice of one’s potential audience.

The story is an explanation about government helplessness when it comes to fintech or financial technology. The FCA acronym means Financial Conduct Authority. Think about London. Think about the wizards who cooked up some nifty digital currency methods at assorted UK universities less than one hour from the Pickle. Think about the idea that a government agency with near instant access to the wonks at the National Crime Agency, the quiet ones at Canary Wharf, and the interesting folks in Cheltenham. Now consider this passage from the write up:

… the Financial Conduct Authority said that Binance’s UK affiliate had “failed to” respond to some of its basic queries, making it impossible to oversee the sprawling group, which has no fixed headquarters and offers services around the world. The admission underscores the scale of the challenge facing authorities in tackling potential risks to consumers buying frequently unregulated products through nimble crypto currency businesses, which can often circumvent national bans by giving users access to facilities based overseas.

Hello? Rural Kentucky calling, is anyone at work?

Let’s step back. I need to make one assumption; that is, government entities’ have authority and power. What this write up makes clear is that when it comes to technology, the tech outfits have the authority and the power.

Not good in my opinion for the “consumer” and maybe for some competitors. Definitely not good for enforcement authorities.

Who finds sun shining through the clouds after reading this Financial Times’s story? I would wager that tech centric outfits are thinking about a day or more at the beach. No worries. And look. Here comes Snoop Dog handing out free beer. What a day!

Stephen E Arnold, August 31, 2021


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