The U.K. government has made a series of announcements to turn the country into a ‘global cryptoasset technology hub.’
Stablecoins, NFTs and crypto businesses
The government moved to recognize stablecoins as a valid form of payment in the country. The U.K. administration has also paved the way to mint its own non-fungible token (NFT), with FM Rishi Sunak pushing the issuance for summer.
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John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, stated in his address, “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.”
Glen added that the Treasury and regulators are working towards a dynamic regulatory landscape through a Cryptoassets Taskforce.
In addition, a Cryptoasset Engagement Group will also work more closely with the crypto industry. Furthermore, the announcement includes legislating a ‘financial market infrastructure sandbox’ to help businesses innovate in the sector.
In this regard, Glen specified, “Because we want this country to be a global hub – the very best place in the world to start and scale crypto-companies.” And with the statement, he sent the message that the U.K. is “open for crypto businesses.”
Therefore, the government has also stated that it is ‘exploring ways of enhancing the competitiveness of the U.K. tax system to encourage further development of the cryptoasset market.’
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said, “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.”
He also said that the U.K. will explore the benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in U.K. financial markets.FM Sunak also added, “We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the U.K., and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.”
The finance ministry also highlighted that the Bank of England would regulate “systemic” stablecoins.
Interestingly, the announcements also come right after Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey raised crypto concerns once again. Speaking at a “Stop Scams” conference organized by the U.K. central bank, Bailey said that crypto is the new “front line” of criminal scams. He said,
“You only have to ask the question: What do people committing ransom attacks usually demand payment in? The answer is crypto,”
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