UK treasury pledges strong support for the crypto sector

The UK economic secretary firmly rejected a proposal to regulate crypto as gambling and instead pledged strong support for the crypto sector

In a Tuesday debate hosted by the Crypto and Digital Assets All Parliamentary Group (APPG), Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the UK Treasury, dismissed the idea of appointing a ‘crypto tsar' to oversee cryptocurrency regulation.

The APPG had recently released a report urging the government to designate an official dedicated to supervising the crypto industry. However, Griffith clarified that while there are no plans for a specific role, he remains committed to championing the sector in his capacity as the economic secretary and as someone responsible for financial regulation in the UK.

Griffith also reinforced the government's stance on crypto regulation, emphasizing that cryptocurrency should be treated as a financial service rather than gambling. This statement comes after lawmakers in the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee suggested regulating crypto in a manner similar to gambling. Griffith firmly rejected this proposal, stating that financial regulators possess the necessary expertise to ensure fair markets and consumer protection.

The economic secretary further expressed his enthusiasm for London becoming a prominent crypto hub, welcoming the decision of venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) to establish its first international office in the city. Griffith hailed this move as an opportunity for London to pave the way for other crypto companies.

Additionally, a16z announced its intention to launch a “Crypto Start-up School accelerator program” in London in the near future, aiming to stimulate job opportunities and contribute to economic advancement.

Other companies have also voiced intentions to open offices in London. In early May, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase indicated its potential interest in moving its headquarters to the UK, as CEO Brian Armstrong recognized the country's potential to become a cryptocurrency hub due to its upcoming regulations.

Griffith further emphasized that the UK's tech sector should embrace sensible regulation that strikes the right balance between innovation and protection. Griffith also highlighted the profound positive impacts that blockchain and Web3 technologies can have on various sectors in the UK.

Griffith underlined that, according to research by McKinsey, the emergence of Web3 technologies has the potential to bring about a fundamental transformation in business models, with estimates from the prominent research analytics firm projecting the global market size of Web3 technologies to reach $81.5bn by 2030.

At the same time, prominent UK finance lobby groups have cautioned the UK government about the potential risks to consumers associated with the introduction of crypto regulations, as crypto scams surge and cold calls promoting financial products, including cryptocurrencies, have been banned.


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Written by Silvia Pavlof

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