A British politician has said that the UK could implement digital asset regulations within a year, claiming that the country wants to capitalize on the benefits of blockchain for the private sector and the economy.
Andrew Griffith, economics secretary for the UK Treasury, told CNBC on April 17 that the long-term goal is to “let companies capitalize on the opportunities of crypto assets” through good crypto regulation.
Griffith argues that for the first time in “decades,” the UK government is now well positioned to regulate cryptocurrencies in a “pragmatic” and “proportionate” way, apparently referring to Britain’s exit from the European Union:
“I believe the window is open for the next 12 months.” We have this amazing asset in the UK; we have control of the rulebook – something the UK hasn’t had for decades – so we can move with agility and proportion.
This prompted lawmakers to declare that the UK is now in a “growth” mindset to optimize the efforts of the private sector technology innovation economy.
Griffith noted that the crypto regulatory framework will incorporate existing financial asset laws and new crypto-specific standards. “As much as possible, we want to see the same assets regulated in the same way, but there are some additional opportunities in the crypto asset or distributed ledger space, and we want to take advantage of them.”
He cited financial services law as an example of settlement using fiat-backed cryptocurrencies. “So it’s coming faster than the broader regulatory framework,” he said.
Griffith stated that the prospective launch of the proposed UK central bank digital currency (CBDC) – dubbed “Britcoin” by the public – has a much longer “waiting time” so it won’t happen within the next year.
Griffith added that he would like to see policy debates on privacy and digital pound technology “broke down” to ensure that all issues are addressed: “If you want to have a sovereign digital currency, you have to have the highest levels of resilience and infrastructure, so that’s not going to happen. overnight.”
Brian Armstrong, CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, met with Griffith earlier this week while in London to speak about how the UK could “leverage” its crypto sector and eventually become an “innovation hub for the Web3 economy.” Coinbase’s crypto hub ambitions for the UK align with those of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who stated last year as Finance Minister that he wants to see the UK become a crypto hub.
Dubai, Singapore and, more recently, Hong Kong have all moved to become crypto hubs.
Since Gary Gensler was sworn in as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in April 2021, the United States has significantly stepped up enforcement actions regarding crypto.