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Tony's Ten: More jobs in financial services?

07 March, 2014Tony Gandy

According to accountancy firm PWC, the UK’s financial services sector could add £62bn to annual economic output by 2020 leading to 47,000 extra jobs in the sector, and a knock-on effect leading to 265,000 across the whole economy; as long as regulation is not heavy-handed. They also predict that much of this growth could occur both inside and outside of London as the sector looks to disperse itself away from the expense of the capital. The concern is that regulation could reduce this growth, though those calling for greater regulation will make the point that incremental increases in GDP are good news, but that a single banking crisis can do much greater damage to GDP.

The report can be found here: http://www.pwc.co.uk/en_UK/uk/financial-services/assets/where-next-for-uk-financial-services.pdf

Fraud, murder, model train collectors

Bitcoin goes from strength to strength, at least in terms of the soap opera surrounding it. Mt. Gox, once the largest Bitcoin exchange, has gone bust and seems to have little answer for where $480m worth of Bitcoin are. Mt. Gox started as an exchange for ‘Magic: The Gathering’ game cards before migrating into an exchange and vault for Bitcoin. Now it appears that American magazine Newsweek has identified Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto as the illusive founder of Bitcoin, and his motivation was, according to them but denied by him, was his annoyance at bank charges when purchasing model trains from the UK to add to his collection in the states. Nakamoto completely denies his involvement. Maybe Newsweek will find Glenn Miller, Amelia Earhart and Lord Lucan next.

If only it was all so laughable. The “unnatural” death of Autumn Radtke who ran the small First Meta Exchange shows that Bitcoin has an all too serious side, as first revealed by the US federal authorities when it closed the Silk Road market for all things nefarious and which used Bitcoin as its currency.

Given this environment, it is a little surprising that some countries are competing for Bitcoin business. The UK has now recognised Bitcoin as negotiable instruments insuring that the trading of them brings no VAT charge. Meanwhile, Japan, so closely associated with the growth of Bitcoin, is now looking to tax them and, effectively, drive the exchanges out of their country.