Andrew Griffith – economic secretary to the UK Treasury and Member of Parliament – said the Kingdom’s authorities plan to impose a regulatory framework on the cryptocurrency industry in the next 12 months.
The rules will aim to drive the sector forward and turn Britain into a digital asset hub.
Regulation is on its Way
In a recent interview for CNBC, Griffith said the UK government is willing to enforce pertinent rules on the crypto sector and will discuss the matter until the end of April. He added that such legislation is expected to take place in the next year since Britain has finally gotten back on its feet after Brexit disturbed its monetary system:
“We’ve got control back of our rulebook, not something the UK has had for decades. So we’ve got the ability to move in an agile and proportionate way. And I’m definitely keen we make the most of that opportunity.”
The lawmaker added that the upcoming regulation will encourage the development of the asset class, aiming to turn the Kingdom into a global cryptocurrency center:
“Wherever possible, we want to see the same asset, the same transaction 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 that.”
Rishi Sunak – Prime Minister of the UK – is also keen on the idea. He said last year (when serving as a Finance Minister) that he wants to see the country emerging as a “global hub for crypto asset technology.”
Sunak also asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token (NFT) nearly a year ago. The government, though, withdrew these plans but vowed to “keep this proposal under review.”
The Hostile Stance of the Central Bank
While the Prime Minister and other UK politicians favor the cryptocurrency industry, this is not the case with the Bank of England.
Its Governor – Andrew Bailey – is among the harshest critics, arguing that Bitcoin and the alternative coins “have no intrinsic value.” He warned investors to be utterly cautious when dealing with such assets as it could lead to crucial losses:
“I’m going to say this very bluntly again. Buy them only if you’re prepared to lose all your money.”
At one point, the central banker even expressed concerns about El Salvador’s decision to declare bitcoin legal tender inside its borders, believing the locals are unaware of the possible dangers:
“It concerns me that a country would choose it as its national currency. What would worry me most of all is, do the citizens of El Salvador understand the nature and volatility of the currency they have.”
The President of the Central American nation – Nayib Bukele – responded in a somewhat ironic fashion, doubting that Britain’s central bank is really worried about El Salvador’s financial prosperity:
“Bank of England is “worried about El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin? Really? I guess Bank of England’s interest in the well-being of our people is genuine. Right? I mean, they have always cared about our people. Always. Gotta love Bank of England.”