Crypto Pillar

Authored by:
Thomas Drury
Thomas Drury

Thomas Drury


Seasoned finance professional with 10+ years' experience. Chartered status holder. Proficient in CFDs, ISAs, and crypto investing. Passionate about helping others achieve financial goals.

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Reviewed by:
Dom Farnell
Dom Farnell

Dom Farnell


Dom is a Co-Founder and of TIC. A passionate investor and seasoned blog writer with a keen interest in financial markets and wealth management.My goal is to empower individuals to make informed investment decisions through informative and engaging content.

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Last Updated 23/12/2023
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Please keep in mind that Crypto assets are volatile and currently unregulated. This volatility presents risk to your investment, and you may lose your funds. Profits from Cryptocurrency sales may be subject to Capital gains tax under UK law.

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What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is more than just a digital trend; it’s a groundbreaking development in the world of finance. At its core, cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual form of currency that employs cryptography for enhanced security. Unlike traditional currencies such as the dollar, euro, or yen, which are controlled and issued by governments (known as fiat currencies), cryptocurrencies operate on a decentralized system using blockchain technology. This innovative approach not only challenges the conventional financial systems but also offers a new avenue for global transactions.

Cryptocurrencies emerged as a response to the 2008 financial crisis, with Bitcoin, created by an unknown person or group under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, being the first and most well-known example. Today, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies, each with unique features and uses. Some, like Bitcoin, focus on transferring value (akin to digital gold), while others, like Ethereum, offer additional functionalities, such as smart contracts and decentralized applications.

The decentralization aspect of cryptocurrencies means that they are not controlled by any single authority, making them immune to government interference or manipulation. This feature has been both lauded for promoting financial freedom and criticized for potentially facilitating illicit activities.

Cryptocurrencies also bring a new level of accessibility to the financial world. Anyone with an internet connection can participate in the cryptocurrency market, which opens up opportunities for those who are unbanked or underbanked.

Is Cryptocurrency Regulated in the UK?

The UK’s approach to cryptocurrency regulation is a blend of cautious interest and a desire to foster innovation while protecting consumers. In the UK, cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender, but their use is allowed. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is the primary regulatory body overseeing cryptocurrencies, focusing on anti-money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT).

The UK government and the FCA do not regulate the actual cryptocurrencies but rather the firms that provide services related to them, like exchange platforms and wallet providers. These entities must comply with AML and CFT regulations and register with the FCA.

In addition to the FCA, other UK bodies like HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have issued guidance on the taxation of cryptocurrencies, treating them as property for tax purposes. This means that individuals and businesses involved in crypto transactions are subject to capital gains tax and other relevant taxes.

As the cryptocurrency landscape evolves, the UK continues to assess its regulatory stance, aiming to strike a balance between nurturing innovation in fintech and ensuring the financial system’s integrity and stability.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is the revolutionary technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. At its simplest, a blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT) that records transactions across multiple computers in such a way that the records cannot be altered retroactively.

Each block in a blockchain contains a number of transactions, and every time a new transaction occurs on the blockchain, a record of that transaction is added to every participant’s ledger. This decentralized nature of blockchain technology ensures its security and transparency, as it becomes nearly impossible to alter transaction records without the consensus of the network.

The implications of blockchain technology extend far beyond cryptocurrencies. It has potential applications in various fields such as supply chain management, voting systems, healthcare, and more. The key features of blockchain, like enhanced security, transparency, and the elimination of intermediaries, make it an attractive solution for many industries.

Cryptocurrency FAQs

This section is dedicated to addressing frequently asked questions about cryptocurrencies, catering to both novices and experienced investors.

  1. How do I start investing in cryptocurrencies? To start, choose a reputable cryptocurrency exchange, create an account, and deposit funds (either fiat currency or cryptocurrency). You can then start buying and trading cryptocurrencies according to the exchange’s offerings.

  2. Is it safe to invest in cryptocurrencies? Investing in cryptocurrencies involves risks, including high volatility and potential security threats. It’s important to conduct thorough research, use secure wallets, and only invest what you can afford to lose.

  3. Can cryptocurrencies be converted into cash? Yes, cryptocurrencies can be exchanged for fiat currencies on various cryptocurrency exchanges and withdrawn to your bank account.

  4. Are cryptocurrencies legal? The legality of cryptocurrencies varies by country. In many parts of the world, including the UK, they are legal but subject to varying degrees of regulation.

  5. How are cryptocurrencies taxed? Taxation of cryptocurrencies varies depending on the jurisdiction. Generally, they are subject to capital gains tax and income tax, depending on the nature of the transactions.

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