With Rishi Sunak’s rise to supreme office, many Brits are expecting this former Goldman Sachs banker and advocate of budgetary rigor to restore credibility to the kingdom in terms of financial stability clouded by the short but frantic tenure of his predecessor, Liz Truss. .
But the new Conservative Prime Minister, who comes from a good family of Indian origins and has passed by the desks of the prestigious University of Oxford, also arouses the enthusiasm of British cryptocurrency enthusiasts. They see him as their new champion, who is likely to make the country a haven for e-currencies and the economy of the Web3.
An enthusiastic welcome within the cryptosphere
” This is a good thing for cryptocurrencies and the economy as a whole “, Said 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 cryptocurrency in the UK as Rishi Sunak prepares to take his place at 10 Downing Street. When he was Chancellor, he created a rather favorable atmosphere for the development of cryptocurrencies. If we add the Financial Services and Markets Bill worn by Andrew Griffith […]it appears the UK is preparing to support the digital resource economy “Says Katie Evans, director of communications at Swarm Market, a specialist in decentralized finance, in a publication on LinkedIn.
A pro-crypto chancellor
The streaks that the new Prime Minister has conquered in the eyes of cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web3 enthusiasts come mainly from the law referenced by Katie Evan, and which Sunak piloted as Chancellor of the Exchequer (British Ministry in charge of finance and treasury), position he held from February 2020 to July 2022, in the government of Boris Johnson.
Named Financial Services and Markets Billthis law, which should be approved shortly, is in fact a first attempt to provide the UK with a legislative framework that allows the cryptocurrency sector to flourish, as in the case of the European MiCA regulation.
Originally, it specifically concerned the recognition of stablecoins as regulated financial assets. These cryptocurrencies which are backed by a single real currency, a basket of currencies, an asset such as gold or lithium, or even a stock market index, are a very popular alternative to assets whose price is strictly floating, like bitcoin or ether. ” With proper regulation, stablecoins could 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 Parliamentarian Andrew Griffith, for the law to regulate all types of cryptocurrencies. and not just stablecoins, a vote welcomed with enthusiasm by Web3 enthusiasts.
Making the UK the global epicenter of cryptocurrencies
As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak also said he wanted to make his country ” a global center for cryptocurrencies and commissioned the Royal Mint, the agency responsible for the minting of the pound, to set up a collection of NFTs. Eventually he proposed that the Bank of England experiment with the use of a central bank digital currency (MNCB), dubbed ” Britcoin “Because of this latest initiative, it is not unanimous among cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the most libertarian among them has a very dim view of this type of digital currency, in which they suspect an attempt by states to regain control of a cryptocurrency market that until then has allowed them to get out of their control.
” We want to see the businesses of tomorrow and the jobs they create flourish here in the UK, and by putting effective regulations in place, we can give them the confidence they need to innovate and grow in this country. . This is part of our plan to ensure that the UK financial industry is at the forefront of technology and innovation He said last April.
The bill Financial services and markets it still has to pass through the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament, then for a final examination followed by the approval of King Charles III, before being finally ratified. Its taking effect early in Rishi Sunak’s tenure would complete his tenure under the best auspices for crypto defenders.
The UK is hardly a fintech paradise today
However, the new prime minister will have to roll up his sleeves if he is to achieve his goals. Indeed, the UK is now perceived as a tough market for cryptocurrency, blockchain and Web3 start-ups. A survey conducted by Fintech Founders, a network of industry members, of 300 founders of UK fintech companies, shows that less than 10% of them think their country is in a position as a cryptocurrency pioneer.
Nearly 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, a policeman of the financial markets from which young fintech sprouts must obtain the stamp to practice, is regularly criticized for the slowness of its procedures. The European Union, for example, was quicker than the UK in offering the new British bank Revolut the right to offer its users the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The EU has also granted him a banking license, which the young sprout does not yet have across the Channel.
Where will the future cryptocurrency capital of the world be?
The ambitions of Rishi Sunak could therefore clash with those of Brussels, which has just passed an important milestone in defining a legislative framework favorable to the crypto economy through the MiCA regulation. Echoing the 10 Downing Street tenant’s ambitions, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire recently stated in an interview with BFM Crypto that he wanted to make France the first center European cryptocurrencies. London will therefore have to deal with the ambitions of its European neighbor, which can count on the attractiveness of cities like Paris and Amsterdam, which seek to steal its title of European capital of finance, undermined by Brexit.
A competition that also includes a certain degree of mutual inspiration and collaboration.
” London was the largest crypto financial center in Europe before Brexit. Today they continue to be inspired by European rules and need interconnections with European markets, which is easier when we have similar standards on both sides. “, Notes Émilien Bernard-Alzias, associate attorney at Simmons & Simmons, specialist in financial services regulation.
Competition could also come from across the Atlantic, where the Biden administration appears to want to speed up implementation of cryptocurrency regulations. As well as on his other files, the new Prime Minister therefore has his job to do to realize his ambitions in the area of digital assets. If today he has the trust of the community, which has the feeling of having his own at the helm, he will have to work hard to keep it.