The U.K. government has unveiled a detailed plan to make the country a global crypto hub and “a hospitable place for crypto.” The plan includes establishing a dynamic regulatory framework for crypto, regulating stablecoins, and working with the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token (NFT) to be issued by the Summer.
U.K. Wants to Be ‘the Very Best Place’ to Start and Scale Crypto Companies
The British government unveiled several initiatives Monday as part of its plan to make the U.K. “a global cryptoasset technology hub.”
They include regulating stablecoins, legislating for a “financial market infrastructure sandbox” to help firms innovate, holding a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-led Cryptosprint, working with the Royal Mint on a non-fungible token (NFT), and establishing an engagement group to work more closely with the crypto industry.
The British chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented:
It’s my ambition to make the U.K. a global hub for cryptoasset technology, and the measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate, and scale up in this country.
John Glen, the U.K.’s economic secretary to the Treasury, elaborated on the government’s crypto plan Monday at the Innovate Finance Global Summit.
“We want this country to be a global hub — the very best place in the world to start and scale crypto-companies,” he emphasized, adding:
If there is one message I want you to leave here today with, it is that the U.K. is … open for crypto businesses.
“If crypto-technologies are going to be a big part of the future, then we — the U.K. — want to be in, and in on the ground floor. In fact, if we commit now … if we act now … we can lead the way,” the economic secretary stressed.
A Detailed Plan to Lead the Crypto Space and Regulation of Stablecoins
Commenting on “a detailed plan” the British government unveiled Monday, Glen noted that “the way we regulate crypto-technologies needs to be dynamic,” elaborating:
We shouldn’t be thinking of regulation as a static, rigid thing. Instead, we should be thinking in terms of regulatory ‘code’ … like computer code … which we refine and rewrite when we need to.
He then talked about stablecoin regulation. “I can confirm that we will be legislating to bring certain stablecoins into our payments framework … creating the conditions for stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and grow in the U.K.,” he said.
Regarding the regulation of the broader crypto market, the economic secretary clarified: “We think the market has changed sufficiently for us to look at regulating a broader set of crypto activities including trading of tokens like bitcoin … and we will consult on a world-leading regime for the rest of the crypto-market too.”
Commenting on crypto taxation, he said: “We don’t think the tax code will need major surgery to make it work more easily for crypto. But we’re going to look at and resolve specific issues like the treatment of defi [decentralized finance] loans and staking.”
Government to Work With Royal Mint on an NFT
Before concluding his speech, the economic secretary confirmed:
I am announcing today that the Chancellor has asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token – an NFT … to be issued by the Summer.
Regarding what the future of crypto in the U.K. would look like, he admitted, “No one knows for sure.” Nonetheless, emphasizing that “We’re on the cusp of something important” and “We have the opportunity to shape and lead it,” the economic secretary opined:
We think that by making this country a hospitable place for crypto we can attract investment … generate swathes of new jobs … and create a wave of ground-breaking new products and services.
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A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.
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