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Stablecoins will be recognized as a viable form of payment, according to the government, as part of a larger goal to make Britain a global center for crypto-asset technology and investment.
Stablecoins will be regulated, allowing them to be used as a recognized form of payment in the United Kingdom. The announcement is part of a broader plan to make the United Kingdom a global center for crypto-asset technology and investment.
Legislation for a 'financial market infrastructure sandbox' to assist firms in innovating, an FCA-led 'CryptoSprint,' collaboration with the Royal Mint on an NFT and the formation of an engagement group to work more closely with industry are among the measures.
This is part of a broader package of reforms aimed at keeping the UK financial services sector on the cutting edge of technology, attracting investment and jobs while also giving consumers more options. It contains the following items: establishing a Cryptoasset Engagement Group to work more closely with the industry, exploring ways to improve the competitiveness of the UK tax system to encourage further development of the crypto-asset market, and working with the Royal Mint on a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) this summer as an emblem of the UK’s forward-looking approach.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for crypto-asset 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.”
Stablecoins are a type of crypto asset that is tied to a fiat currency, such as the dollar, and is designed to keep its value stable. They could provide a more efficient mode of payment and expand consumer choice if properly regulated.
Stablecoins – when used as a form of payment – will be brought within the payments regulatory framework by the government, allowing stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and invest in the UK.
The government can assure financial stability and good regulatory standards by recognizing the promise of this technology and regulating it today. This will allow these new technologies to be utilized reliably and safely in the future.
John Glen, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, spoke at the Innovate Finance Worldwide Summit today about the UK’s goal of being a global powerhouse for crypto-asset technology.
He also stated that the UK will investigate the potentially transformative benefits of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) in UK financial markets. DLT allows data to be synchronized and shared in a decentralized manner, potentially resulting in increased efficiency, transparency, and resilience.
The government will pass legislation to create a financial market infrastructure (FMI) ‘Sandbox,’ which will allow companies to experiment and develop in delivering the infrastructure services that support markets, including testing Distributed Ledger Technology. The government also stated that it will begin a study to determine the feasibility and possible benefits of implementing DLT for sovereign debt instruments.
Later this year, the government will consult on broader regulation of the crypto-asset sector, according to John Glen.
Among the other measures are:
The UK government will look into methods to improve the tax system’s competitiveness in order to encourage the growth of the crypto-asset sector in the country. It will examine how DeFi loans, in which holders of crypto-assets lend them out for a profit, are taxed. The government will also hold a consultation to see if the Investment Manager Exemption should be expanded to include crypto-assets.
This summer, the Chancellor has asked the Royal Mint to manufacture a Non-Fungible Token.
In May, the Financial Conduct Authority will host a two-day ‘CryptoSprint’ with industry players to gather feedback on critical topics related to the establishment of a future crypto-asset regime.
The Economic Secretary will form and head a Cryptoasset Engagement Group, which will bring together key leaders from regulatory agencies and the crypto-asset business to advise the government on issues confronting the sector.
The Chancellor laid out his vision for the future of the financial services sector in his Mansion House speech in July 2021, which included a goal to keep the UK at the forefront of technology and innovation. This was one of four essential elements of that vision, with the ultimate goal of continuing to build a financial services sector that the rest of the world admires.
Last year, the government launched a survey on crypto-assets and stablecoins, and its response, outlining the next steps, was published today.