U.K. has indicated that it wants to embrace crypto innovation, starting with NFTs

The United Kingdom’s Economic and Finance Ministry has said it intends to amend its existing regulatory framework to incorporate stablecoins used as payment.

UK government moves forward with a regulatory framework on stablecoins for payments

U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint to issue an NFT marking the government’s forward-looking approach concerning crypto-assets.

Speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Finance Summit, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen revealed that Chancellor Rishi Sunak had tasked the Royal Mint with creating a non-fungible token by the summer. Glen said that the NFT was “an emblem of the forward-looking approach the government is determined to take,” adding that more details would be available soon.

He also revealed that the U.K. government sees “enormous potential in crypto” and wants the country to become a global hub for the industry. He said:

“Never in the history of commerce has there been an invention as hyped and misunderstood as Distributed Ledger Technology and Blockchain. For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to use the catch-all term ‘crypto’ or ‘crypto-technologies.’ But what I mean is the unique, mercurial, underlying technology that makes ‘crypto’ possible… and which we can be pretty sure is going to have profound effects across multiple domains.”

According to Glen, the U.K. government has a new, detailed plan to create a flexible and dynamic regulatory landscape that would work for everyone. The first part of that plan is to bring certain stablecoins into the payments framework and create conditions for stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and grow their businesses in the country. “We wanted, in the first instance, to focus on areas of immediate potential and concern in the crypto sphere—hence our work on stablecoins,” Glen told FinTech industry representatives at the conference.

A Monday HM Treasury statement hints that the government plans to look into regulating stablecoins, though it didn’t specify details. “With appropriate regulation, stablecoins could provide a more efficient means of payment and widen consumer choice.

Revamping the tax code to help crypto flourish is also on the U.K.’s wish list. The HM Treasury statement notes that the government plans to resolve specific taxation issues concerning DeFi loans and staking to remove any disincentives for the country’s financial industry experimenting in the space.

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