The United Kingdoms will try to become a “global hub for crypto-asset technology”, and to that end is launching a number of initiatives, the UK’s Economic and Finance Ministry said in a blog post on 4 April.
According to the announcement, the UK government will be taking the “necessary legislative steps” to recognise stablecoins as a valid form of payment, widening consumers choice of payment options. Her Majesty’s Treasury also noted that its consultation with various institutions has concluded that stablecoins have the potential to become “widespread means of payment” for retail customers. The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said in a statement:
“It’s my ambition to make the UK 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. We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term. This is part of our plan to ensure the UK financial services industry is always at the forefront of technology and innovation.”
In addition to recognising stablecoins as a valid for of payment, the UK government will also be setting up a “Cryptoasset Engagement Group”, which will work more closely with the crypto industry and explore how the tax system could encourage development. It will also introduce a “financial market infrastructure sandbox”, that will allow companies to experiment and innovate with distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Last but not least, Sunak has put in a request with the Royal mint for it to issue and NFT during the summer as an “emblem of the forward-looking approach we are determined to take”. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was also tasked with holding a two day “CryptoSprint” in May, seeking their views on how to develop a future cryptoasset regime.