According to Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the UK Treasury, the UK government may introduce specific laws aimed at regulating the cryptocurrency industry within the next 12 months. This comes after the UK government laid out plans in February to regulate crypto assets, opening up suggestions for consultation that ends on April 30. Griffith believes that the UK’s exit from the European Union has given it control back of its rulebook, which it hasn’t had for decades. He hopes to use this opportunity to move in an agile and proportionate way, allowing the UK to position itself as a place for crypto firms to come.
While jurisdictions around the world, from Dubai to Singapore, have been trying to position themselves as crypto-friendly places to encourage firms to set up shop there, the US has taken a hard line on cryptocurrency firms with its regulators stepping up enforcement action against companies.
Griffith stated that the UK’s regulatory approach would mix both existing regulations and new ones, and would aim to see the same asset and transaction regulated in the same way wherever possible. He pointed to the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which is currently working its way through Parliament, as an example of where upcoming legislation already includes some provisions on cryptocurrency. That specific law aims to bring asset-backed stablecoins into the regulatory fold. Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency designed to mirror real-world assets such as the US dollar and are often backed by real assets such as bonds or fiat currencies.
Overall, this move by the UK government is seen as a positive step for the crypto industry, as crypto companies have been pushing for more clarity around rules and frameworks for them to operate. By regulating the industry, the UK hopes to position itself as a global hub for cryptoasset technology, as stated by Rishi Sunak, the then UK finance minister and now the prime minister, last year.