The UK's chancellor Rishi Sunak set out plans on Monday to regulate stablecoins and issue an NFT as part of a bid to position the UK as a crypto-friendly tech hub.
The moves would see stablecoins recognized as a valid form of payment, the Treasury said in a press release, arguing that with appropriate regulation, they could provide a more efficient means of payment and widen consumer choice.
“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," Sunak said.
Sunak has also put in a request at the Royal Mint for it to issue an NFT.
The Royal Mint is a government-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom. In an emailed statement, it said it would share further details in due course.
Through its official Twitter account, the Treasury said the move highlights the "forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK." The tweet also said it would be issued by the summer.
Alongside these regulations, the Treasury will introduce a ‘financial market infrastructure sandbox’ to enable firms to experiment and innovate and explore ways of enhancing the competitiveness of the UK tax system to encourage further development of the cryptoasset market, it said.
The move comes amid a protracted period of confusion around crypto regulation in the UK, as firms have waited for verdicts from the financial regulator on anti-money laundering licensing. The process, conducted through the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has forced many to consider their place in the UK market, including crypto market maker B2C2, Blockchain.com, and wallet firm Wirex, which have all chosen to seek licenses elsewhere.
Today, the FCA also called for contributors for its first "Crypto Sprint" event, as it promised to engage with the industry to inform its policymaking.
In a post on its website on Monday, the FCA said the event on May 10-11 will bring together industry leaders — including technologists, crypto specialists, academics, regulated financial institutions, and consumer bodies.
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