UK could have crypto regulation within a year, says senior minister

UK could have crypto regulation within a year, says senior minister

Britain could introduce digital asset regulation within 12 months, a British lawmaker claimed, saying the country wants to harness the benefits that blockchain can bring to the private sector and economy.

In a CNBC interview on April 17, Andrew Griffith, the economic secretary of the UK Treasury, said the long-term vision is to “allow firms to make the most of the opportunities from crypto assets” with good crypto regulation.

For the first time in “decades”, Griffith claimed that the UK government is now well placed to regulate crypto in a “pragmatic” and “proportionate” way and appeared to be referring to the UK’s exit from the EU:

“I think the next 12 months is the window. We have this great resource in the UK, we’ve got control of a rulebook – not something the UK has had for decades – so we have the ability to move in a nimble and proportionate way. »

That led the lawmaker to argue that Britain is now in a “growth” mindset to maximize the economic effort brought about by technical innovation in the private sector.

Griffith explained that the crypto regulatory framework would blend existing financial asset laws with new crypto-specific rules.

“Where possible we want to see the same asset regulated in the same way, but there are some additional opportunities in crypto assets or distributed ledger space and we want to take advantage of that.”

He cited settlements using fiat-backed cryptocurrencies as an example that was included in the Finance Act. “So it’s coming even faster than the broader regulations,” he added.

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Related: Digital pound can co-exist with private stablecoins – UK central bank

Griffith said a potential rollout of the UK’s proposed central bank digital currency (CBDC) – dubbed “Britcoin” by the public – has a much longer “lead time” and therefore would not be seen in the next year.

Griffith added that he wants to see a policy debate regarding privacy and the technology of the digital pound “traced out” to ensure all concerns are addressed:

“If you’re going to have a supreme digital currency, you have to have the highest level of resilience and infrastructure, so it’s not going to happen overnight.”

Brian Armstrong, the head of crypto exchange Coinbase, met with Griffith earlier this week while he was in London to give a speech on how the UK could “turbocharge” its crypto sector and eventually become an “innovation hub for the Web3 economy.”

Coinbase’s crypto hub ambitions for the UK are in line with the views of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who explained last year while serving as finance minister that he wants the UK to become a crypto hub.

Dubai, Singapore and recently Hong Kong are some regions that have made a push to become crypto hubs.

The US, on the other hand, has stepped up crypto-related enforcement considerably since Gary Gensler was sworn in as head of the Securities Exchange Commission in April 2021.

Blade: Crypto Regulation: Does SEC Chairman Gary Gensler Have the Last Word? – Cointelegraph Magazine

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