With the accession of Rishi Sunak in the supreme office, many Britons expect this former Goldman Sachs banker and defender of budgetary austerity to restore to the kingdom a credibility in terms of financial stability tarnished by his predecessor’s short and eventful tenure. Liz Truss.
An enthusiastic reception within the cryptosphere
” This is a positive for crypto and the economy as a whole “, stated Ian Taylor, director of the CryptoUK lobby, to the CoinDesk medium, which specializes in crypto news. Adam Jackson, of Innovate Finance, a British lobby promoting the use of cryptocurrencies, sees the new tenant of 10 Downing Street as “ a fintech champion. »
” It’s an interesting time for cryptocurrencies in the UK as Rishi Sunak prepares to take up his post at 10 Downing Street. When he was Chancellor, he created a very favorable atmosphere for the development of cryptocurrencies. If we add Financial Services and Markets Bill worn by Andrew Griffith […]it looks like the UK is gearing up to support the digital asset economy says Katie Evans, director of communications for Swarm Market, specialist in decentralized financein a LinkedIn post.
A pro-crypto chancellor
The stripes that the new prime minister has earned in the eyes of cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web3 enthusiasts come mainly from the law that Katie Evan refers to and that Sunak piloted as Chancellor of the Exchequer (the British Ministry responsible for Finance and the Treasury). , a position he held from February 2020 to July 2022, in Boris Johnson’s government.
Named Financial Services and Markets Billthis law, which should be passed soon, is really a first attempt to provide the United Kingdom with a legislative framework that allows the cryptocurrency industry to flourish, as is the case with regulation. Mika European.
Initially, it included in particular the recognition of stable currency as regulated financial assets. These cryptocurrencies, which are backed by a single real currency, a basket of currencies, a resource like gold or lithium, or even a stock market index, are a very popular alternative to assets whose price fluctuates wildly, like bitcoin or ether. . ” With the right regulation, stablecoins can be a more efficient means of payment and expand consumer choice “, underlines the British government.
Last week, shortly after Rishi Sunak’s accession to the supreme office, the House of Commons, the lower house of the British parliament, voted in favor of an amendment proposed by MP Andrew Griffith, so that the law would regulate all types of cryptocurrencies and not just stablecoins, a vote enthusiastically welcomed by Web3 enthusiasts.
Making the UK the global epicenter of crypto-assets
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak also said he wanted to make his country ” a global hub for cryptoassets “, and instructed the Royal Mint, the agency responsible for minting sterling, to create a collection of NFT. Finally, he proposed that the Bank of England test the use of ea central bank digital currency (MNCB), baptized ” Britcoin “. Because of this latest initiative, it is not unanimous among cryptocurrency fans, the most libertarian among them take a very dim view of this type of digital currency, in which they suspect an attempt by states to reclaim control of a crypto-asset market.until then allowed them to escape their control.
” We want to see tomorrow’s businesses, and the jobs they create, thrive here in the UK, and by putting in place effective regulations, we can give them the confidence they need to innovate and grow in this country. . This is part of our plan to ensure the UK financial industry is at the forefront of technology and innovation “, he said last April.
Draft law Financial Services and Markets it still has to go through the House of Lords, the Upper House of Parliament, then through a final examination followed by an assent from King Charles III, before it is finally ratified. Its entry into force at the beginning of Rishi Sunak’s term would end his term under the best care of crypto defenders.
The UK today is hardly a haven for fintechs
The new prime minister, however, will have to roll up his sleeves if he wants to achieve his goals. Indeed, the UK is now perceived as a difficult market for cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web3 start-ups. A survey of 300 UK fintech company founders by Fintech Founders, an industry membership network, shows that less than 10% of them think their country is in a cryptocurrency pioneering position.
Almost a fifth of these entrepreneurs also believe that the regulator is doing everything to show that the UK is not the right place to start a start-up in this field. The Financial Conduct Authority, the police of the financial markets from which young fintechs must get the stamp to practice, is regularly criticized for the slowness of the procedures. The European Union, for example, was quicker than the United Kingdom to offer the British neobank revolution in the right to offer its users the opportunity to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The EU has also granted it a banking licence, which the new film does not yet have across the Channel.
Where will the next crypto capital of the world be?
Therefore, Rishi Sunak’s ambitions may come up against those of Brussels, which has also just passed an important milestone in creating a favorable legislative framework for the cryptoeconomy through the MiCA regulation. Echoing the ambitions of the tenant of 10 Downing Street, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire recently stated, during an interview with BFM Crypto, that he wanted to make France the first. center European cryptocurrencies. So London will have to come to terms with the ambitions of its European neighbour, which can rely on the attractiveness of cities such as Paris and Amsterdam, which are trying to usurp the title of European capital of finance, which has been undermined. from Brexit. .
A competition that also involves a certain degree of inspiration and mutual cooperation.
” London was the biggest crypto financial center in Europe before Brexit. They continue today to be inspired by European rules and need connections with European markets, which is easier when we have similar standards on one side and on the other. “, notes Émilien Bernard-Alzias, associate attorney at Simmons & Simmons, a specialist in financial services regulation.
Competition may also come from across the Atlantic, where the Biden administration seems to want to accelerate setting regulations around cryptocurrencies. As in his other portfolios, the new prime minister has had work to do to realize his ambitions in the realm of digital assets. If he has the trust of the community today, which feels it has one of its own at the helm, he will have to work hard to keep it.