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UK Bill Recognizes Cryptocurrency as Regulated Financial Activity

UK Leads with New Crypto Regulation Law

The UK has entered the group of nations implementing official regulations for cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Despite a notably smaller user base compared to the United States, this proactive initiative by Great Britain and Northern Ireland positions them ahead in terms of acceptance and regulation.

Bitcoin infront UK British flag

The bill grants regulators the authority to oversee crypto and stablecoins and received approval from King Charles overnight, marking the final formal stage that enacts the bill into law.

Following royal assent, a procedural formality post lawmakers’ approval, the Financial Services and Markets Bill has become an Act, incorporating provisions to regulate cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. The bill secured endorsement from the upper chamber of Parliament last week.

Introduced in July 2022, the bill enhances regulators’ oversight of the financial system, including the realm of cryptocurrencies. Amendments introduced during parliamentary discussions classify all crypto activities as regulated and add supervision of crypto promotions. Additionally, the bill extends payment rules to cover stablecoins.

In a recent interview, Andrew Griffith, the economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, expressed the country’s desire to harness the advantages of blockchain technology for the private sector and the economy. He emphasized the ultimate goal is enabling businesses to fully leverage opportunities presented by crypto assets through appropriate regulatory measures.

With the new legislation, the U.K. has the potential to act as a catalyst, attracting more cryptocurrency firms, especially considering the stringent global regulatory landscape.

Andreessen Horowitz (A16z), a prominent venture capital firm, recently unveiled plans to establish its first office outside the United States in London. The decision resulted from a “productive dialogue” with the U.K. prime minister and months of constructive discussions with policymakers and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A16z’s crypto founder and managing partner, Chris Dixon, specifically highlighted the importance of a “predictable business environment” as a key factor contributing to the expansion of their operations overseas.

These significant steps by the U.K. government raise questions about whether the U.S. government is falling too far behind and if Australia will follow suit.

Hopefully, our government will begin to make similar moves in the near future.

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