As many readers already know from previous articles, I am skeptical about the idea that Brexit would leave the U.K. economy relatively unharmed. I simply doubt that leaving the world’s biggest trading block can be achieved while keeping all the advantages — free movement of goods, services and capital — and rejecting what the proponents of Brexit see as a disadvantage — free movement of people.
I get emails from readers telling me to cheer up, and believe me, I try to. Today, for the first time since the vote, I found a piece of news that does indeed cheer me up: a Financial Times story revealing that big banks plan to create a new standard to clear and settle financial trades using blockchain, the technology supporting the Bitcoin electronic currency.
This could potentially mean that the relatively new technology used by Bitcoin could make a significant difference to the outcome of Brexit for the U.K. economy, at least for one of the most important sectors: banking.
First, a bit of context: one of the main reasons why virtually all the big banks in London — the City, as London’s financial services sector is known — supported remaining