Coinbase’s UK lawyer Marcus Hughes predicts that a new regulatory regime in Europe will spark huge growth in the price and adoption of Bitcoin over the next two years.
“Within the next year or two we’ll see big developments,” Hughes told Forbes.
“Regulation will take shape this year, particularly in Europe.”
Before securing his current position as lead counsel for Coinbase in the UK, Hughes was the executive director of legal for investment bank Morgan Stanley.
He reveals that opinion among his former colleagues is firmly in favour of digital currencies.
“The view amongst the likes of Morgan Stanley executives is that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency does now have staying power. They don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.”
Despite the massive 80 per cent drop in the Bitcoin price across 2018, Hughes believes that increased regulations will finally give banks the confidence to invest in digital assets.
“A number have dipped their toes but it is a slow burn process,” Hughes said.
“Regulation will help a lot, in particular around custody offerings. These things take time. Clients of investment banks will expect regulation to be in place.
“I would be surprised if other traditional financial services executives didn’t make the move across to the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency world,” he said.
There are moves to tighten crypto laws in the UK, with the Financial Conduct Authority tipped to oversee the space.
The European Banking Authority has also been pushing for standardised regulations across the entire continent, which Hughes says is a very promising development for adoption.
“We could end up with EU member states creating their own crypto laws, but it’s certainly possible we’ll get a unified approach in Europe. It would make life for companies like Coinbase much easier,” he said. M