U.K. has a new pro-crypto PM and a new name for stablecoins
At the point of the news on the vote to recognize Crypto as regulated financial instruments, Bitcoin just spiked to $21,170. This aligns with the new crypto developments in the U.K. market. As part of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the U.K. House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament, agreed on Tuesday to regulate cryptocurrency assets as financial instruments. The House of Lords, the upper house, will vote on the bill before it becomes law. This occurs as Rishi Sunak, who on Monday was appointed as the nation’s next prime minister, has a history of endorsing cryptocurrencies.
The local cryptocurrency sector, which recently celebrated Rishi Sunak’s election as the nation’s new prime minister, will likely applaud moves to grant legal legitimacy to digital assets. When Sunak served as the Boris Johnson administration’s finance minister, he presented the markets bill, which indirectly led to the stablecoin regulations.
The bill expands upon current stablecoin regulating provisions and uses the term “Digital Settlement Assets” (DSA) in place of “crypto assets,” moving away from the use of the phrase “crypto assets.” Stablecoins with a focus on payments that are cryptocurrencies tethered to the value of other assets like the U.S. dollar or gold were already covered by elements in the draft bill that would have extended existing restrictions to them.
According to Griffith, the financial services and city minister, the crypto provision “clarifies that crypto assets could be brought within the scope of the existing provisions” of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 relating to regulated financial activities. The crypto provision depends on the definition of “crypto asset” inserted by a new clause 14. The regulations might control cryptocurrency advertising and ban businesses that aren’t allowed to operate nationwide.
“The Treasury will consult on its approach with industry and stakeholders ahead of using the powers to ensure the framework reflects the unique benefits and risks posed by crypto activities,” Griffith said. He added: “The Treasury will consult on its approach with industry and stakeholders ahead of using the powers to ensure the framework reflects the unique benefits and risks posed by crypto activities,”
The Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) provides a forum for parliamentarians, regulators and the U.K government to discuss challenges and opportunities relating to the crypto sector. This group, chaired by Scottish National Party member of Parliament (MP) Lisa Cameron, has issued a written statement to the media seeking regulatory clarity and business certainty. “U.K. crypto and digital asset firms desperately need clarity over the U.K.’s approach to crypto policy and for the government to deliver on its vision for the U.K. crypto sector,” Cameron said in the statement.
The legalization of cryptocurrencies and digital assets as financial instruments is still pending. Important requirements that must be met for the Bill include: Before the Bill receives final royal sanction from the next king, King Charles III, the House of Lords will need to accept or change it.
The U.K. government can assure financial stability and strong regulatory standards by recognizing the promise of this technology and regulating it at this time, allowing these new technologies to be employed in the future reliably and safely.
Hong Kong wants to be positioned as crypto hub, while Singapore pivots
A few years back, Hong Kong was on the right track to becoming a crypto hub. Then Hong Kong’s regulator, the Securities Futures Commission (SFC) knocked on doors. Exchanges were questioned about listing tokens that seemed like securities and also issued warnings about high leverages.
Fast forward to 2022, October 31, the Hong Kong government is exploring legalizing retail crypto trades. Financial Secretary Paul Chan announced in a keynote speech at the Hong Kong Fintech Week conference that authorities would begin a consultation process on providing retail investors with “a suitable degree of access” to virtual assets. “We want to make our policy stance clear to the global market, to demonstrate our determination to explore fintech with the global virtual asset community,” he added.
In contrast, Singapore is significantly restricting access to cryptocurrencies for individual investors after last year’s market collapse brought down several digital asset companies with ties to the Southeast Asian country and caused much greater losses throughout the industry. If you remember, many of the huger crypto companies moved from Singapore to Dubai, and now the same thing is happening again. Hong Kong appears to be the next hotspot for digital-asset enterprises, entrepreneurs, and investment.
Even the head of the central bank, Ravi Menon, admitted in a Bloomberg Television interview that some crypto enterprises with a retail concentration would leave the city-state, stating plainly, “We wish them good luck.”
Cryptocurrencies “play a supporting role in the broader digital asset ecosystem, and it would not be feasible to ban them,” the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) stated in a media statement. Singapore’s stand is very firm and has made it clear that they are not banning cryptocurrencies and is working towards reducing risks.
I see all these are positive signs. Singapore is planning ahead. Hong Kong is leaving some room going forward. U.K.’s plan is ambitious. Hong Kong seems like walking on a different path than China which has banned cryptocurrencies completely. People on the ground are now speculating that Hong Kong could be the outflow channel for the Chinese to start trading cryptocurrencies again.
The recognition of cryptocurrencies under proper regulations would go very far. I am optimistic about the outcomes. #anndylian
Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.