Ben Rosen, Partner
On 4 April, the UK Government made clear its intention to establish the UK as ‘a global cryptoasset technology hub’. Although the timelines are unclear, this is a strong indication that legislation is on its way with the stated claim of supporting this burgeoning digital sector. Details are lacking, but among the headline points are the following:
- Stablecoins (a form of digital currency pegged to the value of a fiat currency such as pound sterling) are to be introduced through specific regulations and circulated as a more efficient payment method for the future economy; and
- A ‘Government-backed’ NFT to be minted in partnership with the Royal Mint as a symbol for the UK’s forward-thinking digital strategy and trajectory into the wider digital landscape. Whether this heralds the introduction of some form of Government-backed digital bond remains to be seen.
For some crypto-ideologues and proponents for legitimate ‘decentralisation’, this announcement is unlikely to be welcomed with any enthusiasm. For others, considering the wider use case, adoption of blockchain technology and a tightening at the regulatory level was an inevitability.
Wherever you may stand on this topic, this announcement is stark and bullish in equal measure. The inexorable wave of regulation is now on the horizon and a major world economy is positioning itself at the forefront.
Amidst the anticipation, uncertainty and perhaps fear, is a clear marker that innovation is coming and that such innovation will be supported, where deemed safe and reliable in a regulatory and taxation sense, by the UK government.
Innovators and investors alike will require the support of regulators and, as this space grows, advisors who can guide them through this brave new world. We, at Quastels LLP, are at the cutting edge, advising on the legal framework being built around this digital landscape.