It appears the UK has voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, causing both celebrations and a crash in the pound’s value to its lowest point in 31 years.
With results still coming in, at press time (5:30AM UK time) there were 15,580,755 votes in favor of Leave to 14,534,113 votes for Remain, a lead that large media organizations like the BBC conceded was insurmountable.
Foreign exchange markets took retribution on the GBP as soon as the result began to swing in the Leave camp, causing it to fall 9% to $1.35, a number it has not touched since 1985.
The EU’s common currency the euro, however, also fell to $1.09.
Earlier in the evening after polls closed, the GBP rose to $1.50 when it appeared the Remain vote had an edge. That soon evaporated, however.
So far the bitcoin price has not reacted noticeably to the result, though it has been rising fairly solidly for most of the past 24 hours.
Support to leave the EU was strongest in England (54%) and Wales (55%), and lowest in Scotland (37.8%) and Northern Ireland (44.3%).
The UK now faces a period of economic and political uncertainly as both its own and European leaders begin work on a plan to disentangle the country from the Union. The UK joined what was then a free-trade zone called the European Economic Community in 1973, and voted to remain in a previous referendum in 1975.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has declared the Brexit a “victory” for the United Kingdom, saying, “The dawn is breaking on a [sic] independent UK. . .This will be a victory for the real people, for the ordinary people, and for the decent people.”
British support for the EU had always been more guarded than in other parts of the continent, with the UK being the largest member to keep its own currency and opt not to join the Schengen border-free travel zone.
Did UK voters make the right decision? Let us know your thoughts below.
Images courtesy of IG, Kaiko.
Jon Southurst has been interested in bitcoin since reading Neal Stephenson's 'Cryptonomicon' in 2012. A long-time tech writer, he has been a regular contributor at CoinDesk and has written for Kaiko.com, DeepDotWeb and ancient print publications. He lives on an artificial island in Tokyo.
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