U.K. Lawmakers Vote to Recognize Crypto As Regulated Financial Instrument

The House of Commons, the lower house of the British Parliament, approved the recognition of crypto assets as regulated financial instruments on October 25. As part of the draft bill, current laws regarding payments-focused instruments will be extended to stablecoins. The move comes on the heels of the recent appointment of Rishi Sunak as the U.K.s new prime minister, who is seen as a crypto-friendly leader. 

Key Takeaways

  • After passing the House of Commons, the Financial Services and Markets bill now goes to the House of Lords.
  • The bill seeks to establish digital assets as regulated financial instruments.
  • The move follows Rishi Sunak’s recent appointment as the U.K. prime minister, who is known to be a crypto-friendly leader.

Lawmakers Agree on Amendments

Parliamentarian Andrew Griffith introduced the proposal, which seeks to include crypto assets as part of the proposed Financial Services and Markets Bill. The lawmakers discussed the proposed Financial Services and Markets Bill, which relates to economic planning post-Brexit, and agreed on amendments that included regulating crypto assets.

As soon as the law is passed, the U.K Treasury department will be able to enforce regulation over the crypto market. In the meantime, Treasury officials will consult with relevant stakeholders to ensure the framework maximizes crypto benefits and addresses risks.

All Eyes On New Prime Minister

The move follows a call by the Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), chaired by Scottish National Party MP Lisa Cameron, for the U.K government to clarify its commitments to the crypto sector.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, Cameron stated, U.K crypto and digital asset firms desperately need clarity over the U.Ks approach to crypto policy and for the government to deliver on its vision for the U.K crypto sector.

The vision she referred to is likely related to statements from newly appointed U.K Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. During Sunak’s tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer in April 2021, he proposed that the Bank of England and HM Treasury create a task force to evaluate the creation of a central bank digital currency. A year later, he called to recognize stablecoins as a valid form of payment. He even said his ambition is to make the U.K. a global hub for crypto assets.

When Sunak left his position as Chancellor in July 2022, there was some concern about the future of crypto in the UK. However, now that he is Prime Minister, he is expected to appoint a new Chancellor who shares his view on crypto regulation in the U.K.

The Bottom Line

Prime Minister Sunak’s appointment comes at a time when the country is facing economic and political challenges. He is yet to approve his ability to maintain his position in the coming months.

Meanwhile, it will take a long time before the Financial Services and Markets Bill becomes law. First, the draft will go to the upper house of the Parliament, the House of Lords. If the bill receives approval, it will then go to King Charles III for final approval.