The United Kingdom plans to introduce new laws aimed at regulating stablecoins and crypto staking within six months, British Finance Minister Bim Afolami said at an event organized by Coinbase in London on February 19. In view of the impending general elections this year, Afolami stressed the government’s commitment to swiftly implement the new regulations.

Positioning UK as a global crypto hub

Despite the call for urgency, Afolami remained vague on the specific details of the expected crypto regulation. “The short answer is: I don’t know. There’s so much going on right now that I’d rather not commit to details,” he explained during the event, according to Bloomberg.

The move follows UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s 2022 pledge to position the UK as a ‘global crypto hub’, a vision that underlines the need for crypto companies to be able to invest, innovate and grow in the country. Nevertheless, there has been limited regulatory progress since then, despite clear demand from the crypto industry for clearer rules.

Reform domestic legislation

In July 2023, the UK Law Commission made four key recommendations for reforming domestic law surrounding the use and ownership of cryptocurrencies. These include creating a new category of personal property specifically for digital assets and proposing a common law analysis of crypto assets.

On October 30, 2023, the UK government announced plans to implement further crypto-specific regulations in 2024, with the regulation of fiat-backed stablecoins becoming the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

With the general election approaching, expected in the second half of 2024, and with the Labor Party leading the polls, which is likely to be less crypto-friendly, the timing and nature of the new regulations will be closely monitored by the crypto community in the UK and beyond.


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