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UK Parliament group “desperately” needs crypto policy clarity from Sunak

The chair of a UK crypto-focused parliament group called for clarity in the British government’s  terms in regards to the crypto sector.

The Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which is chaired by Scottish National Party member of Parliament (MP) Lisa Cameron, on Tuesday said that firms in the UK “desperately need clarity” over approaching how the country regulates crypto.

The AAPG provides a forum for the British government, including parliamentarians and regulators to discuss matters, challenges, and opportunities related to the crypto sector.

UK’s new prime minister Rishi Sunak is noted to be crypto-friendly, and has mentioned plans to prepare the country to be an international hub for crypto. However, Sunak has yet to say anything more about the project.

The UK’s crypto industry has reportedly been in close communication with Sunak in regards to regulating crypto, with Ian Taylor, director of the crypto industry lobby group CryptoUK calling Sunak a “champion of fintech.”

The former finance minister under Boris Johnson had previously helped in bringing in the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which can give local regulators power over the crypto industry. Sunak was also anticipated to bring an NFT collection under the UK’s coin producer, the Royal Mint – but such NFTs do not yet exist.

On Tuesday, the House of Commons, the UK Parliament’s lower house, voted in favour to recognise crypto assets as regulated financial instruments and products with the aforementioned Financial Services and Markets Bill. 

The bill’s inclusion of crypto has been in the works for a few years, and covers measures to further regulate payments-focused stablecoins, or cryptocurrencies that are pegged to the value of other assets such as the US dollar, or gold.

In a written statement issued to the media on Tuesday, Cameron wrote “UK crypto and digital asset firms desperately need clarity over the UK’s approach to crypto policy and for the government to deliver on its vision for the UK crypto sector.”

Following that, Cameron added that crypto businesses want crypto policies that provide regulatory clarity, and certainty for businesses to still operate.

“We need a proportionate approach to regulation that balances risk, ensures high levels of consumer protection and that doesn’t hamper growth and innovation in the sector,” Cameron argued.

Similar worries echo around UK parliament, with Peter Grant, a Parliament member, voicing out his concerns over “what has been offered,” calling the bill “a patchy and piecemeal approach to regulation, compared to the far more comprehensive proposals in, for example, the European Union’s draft regulation.” 

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