UK Treasury to publish draft stablecoin regulations

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has put stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) front and center of the U.K.'s efforts to remain a financial services hub post-Brexit.

In a statement issued Monday, the U.K. Treasury said it would put forward proposals for regulating "relevant stablecoin initiatives" to ensure they are held to the same standard as rival payment methods.

Sunak tweeted that the Treasury would "publish a consultation to ensure new privately-issued currencies, stablecoins, meet the high standards we expect of other payment methods."

The chancellor also welcomed the work carried out jointly by the Treasury and the Bank of England into whether and how central banks could issue CBDCs as a complement to cash.

Further details of the plans were lacking, but the stablecoin proposals referred to may be the "starting gun" which Fnality International boss Rhomaios Ram recently told The Block he was expecting by year-end.

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority, said the regulator would continue to work with the government to deliver the plans outlined by the Treasury, including to "encourage responsible innovation in finance."