January 25, 2018 / 11:45 AM / 7 months ago

Britain should examine criminal use of cryptocurrencies - May

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain should take a serious look at cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin because of the way they can be used by criminals, Prime Minister Theresa May said on Thursday.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London, January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

“Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, we should be looking at these very seriously, precisely because of the way that they can be used, particularly by criminals,” May told Bloomberg Television in an interview in Davos.

She added that there were huge possibilities for Britain to attract tech companies once Britain leaves the European Union.

Britain wants to clinch a deal with the EU by the end of March on a Brexit transition period, Brexit minister David Davis said on Wednesday. Britain says a transition period should provide clarity for business and financial services firms.

May said that she sensed a pragmatic attitude among EU leaders to get an arrangement which works for Britain and the EU, but would not be drawn as to whether she would offer concessions to the EU to secure a favourable deal for the finance industry.

“What I’m working for is looking at the implementation period .. But I’m very clear that we want to develop a deep and special partnership - a comprehensive free trade agreement,” she said.

“Obviously we recognise the importance of financial services and we want to ensure that we can continue to see those financial services ensuring that the City of London retains its role as a global financial centre.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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