On Thursday, Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary of the United Kingdom, at TheCityUK’s National Conference in Edinburgh, commented on the country’s stand towards crypto.
TheCityUK’s National Conference is a flagship event that focuses on the contribution of financial and related professional services to economies across the UK and the industry’s role in supporting key issues such as regional growth, development, diversity, inclusion, etc.
Griffith stated that the country’s aim hadn’t been affected by the collapse of FTX, and it continues to intend to be the focus of the crypto industry. He said that the officials are working in that direction, and he heads the crypto-engagement group, which is designed to interact with the industry participants and assess their developments.
“We’re driving forward this agenda, and I continue to chair the crypto-engagement group to hear from industry and share progress.”
However, Griffith did acknowledge the widespread confusion and assumptions associated with the future of crypto but called the ignorance of the sector a stupid stance. He said that the nation would be foolish to ignore the potential of the underlying technology just considering its future.
“Yes, there are questions about the future of crypto, but we’d be foolish to ignore the potential of the underlying technology.”
Talking of the sector’s regulation, Griffith opined that the recent happenings in the crypto sector had highlighted the need for a timely, transparent and efficient framework. He also mentioned that “The Financial Services and Markets Bill” facilitates the country’s regulators in establishing a framework for the efficient regulation of crypto assets and stablecoins, a letter requesting the same was drafted by him in October. The UK is also looking forward to consulting a world-class regime for the rest of the crypto assets later this year.
In April this year, John Glen, Griffith’s predecessor, released the country’s crypto ambitions under Rishi Sunak, the exchequer under the prime minister. Glen had to resign in July following the government’s fall but is now the chief secretary to the Treasury, with Rishi Sunaks taking charge as the prime minister.
However, the country’s political arena is not very convinced with the crypto promotions, given the market scenario following the collapse of FTX.
On Wednesday, Godfrey John Bewicke-Copley (titled Lord Cromwell), a member of the House of Lords (the UK Parliament’s upper house), at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting said that the crypto industry at the moment is a “complete disaster.”
The APPG meeting was conducted to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the crypto sector.
In the meeting, Cromwell showed an anti-crypto stance and suggested that they dump the word “crypto” instead of calling it a digital currency or something. Further, he suggested that the crypto sector needs to work closely with the regulators and do some rebranding.
Cromwell opined that the country’s regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial regulator, are dealing with a complex scenario. He raised his opinions regarding the country’s aim of becoming a center of crypto growth and called it a “guff” that the politicians serve.
His speech’s guff is used as a criticism of the current prime minister’s advocacy from April of turning the country into a crypto hub. He also targeted the regulator’s statement of not wanting to miss out on technological developments and said that the industry is full of entities that are not doing well. As a nation, they should look out for themselves first and let the collapsing entities manage themselves.
“You talk about missing the boat. The harbor is full of boats loaded with explosives that are going off all around you and sinking. That is the landscape that the FCA is looking at.”
On Monday, Lisa Cameron, Chairperson of the APPG, opined that the crypto companies in the nation feel challenged to adhere to the FCA regulations. In November, FCA CEO revealed that they were not satisfied with 85% of applications as they might have failed to meet the proportional and reasonable standards.
In July this year, a consultation paper revealed that the Law Commission of England and Wales, a constitutionally independent agency tasked with evaluating and updating the law, seeks to expand property regulations to embrace cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFT).