The UK government is taking a forward-looking approach to NFTs and general crypto engagement in the country. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak recently announced a series of measures that intend to turn the UK into a global hub for crypto-asset technology and investment.
How The UK Plans To Become A Crypto Hub
John Glen, the UK Economic Secretary of the Treasury, recently stated that the government will “protect consumers by legislating to bring certain crypto-assets into the scope of financial promotions regulation.”
As more countries start the race to gain the ‘crypto hub’ title, the UK government does not want to lag behind.
“We’re working to make the UK a global cryptoassets hub. We want to see the businesses of tomorrow, and the jobs they create, here in the UK,” Treasury announced.
The British plan to achieve this goal includes:
- Regulate Stablecoins in order to enable them as a recognized form of payment.
- The introduction of a ‘financial market infrastructure sandbox’, a payment system network supervised by authorities (The Bank of England, in this case) that is meant to “enable firms to experiment and innovate.” They will be testing Distributed Ledger Technology and its benefits for sovereign debt instruments.
- Enable a ‘Cryptoasset Engagement Group’ with an established Chair “to advise the government on issues facing the crypto asset sector” in order to work hand in hand with the industry.
- Tax aspects will be reviewed as the government aims for a competitive tax system in order “to encourage further development of the cryptoasset market,” for which purpose they will be reviewing DeFi loans.
- A wider legal framework for the crypto industry is to de discussed later this year.
- And lastly, under the UK chancellor’s vision to improve the country’s financial services sector, they have commissioned the Royal Mint to launch a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) “as an emblem of the forward-looking approach the UK is determined to take.”
“It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for cryptoasset technology, and the measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country.
We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said.
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The Royal Mint NFTs
It hasn’t been specified what the NFTs will look like. They will launch this summer by the Royal Mint, a government-owned mint founded in 886 that produces coins for the United Kingdom.
It should not be a strange subject for the Royal Mint. They might not have embarked on the NFT waters yet, but they are known for their exclusive designs and collectible uncirculated coins.
The first of three 50ps to conclude our Disney’s Winnie the Pooh and Friends Collection created in collaboration with @Disney, stars the wonderful Eeyore – which has the lowest mintage in the series to date! As if we’d ever leave him out… https://t.co/haL8cYRma8 pic.twitter.com/JGNVvboN9P
— The Royal Mint (@RoyalMintUK) March 31, 2022
As the NFT is set to be an “emblem of the forward-looking approach the UK is determined to take,” we might expect a design close to home. Possible options for it could be the Royal Family, key figures from British history and culture, or maybe landscapes.
The announcement, however, has been criticized in the country following backlash over the recent economic crisis of rising costs and taxes that affects middle-class families. The Chancellor has received a lot of heat as many citizens do not agree with his handling. As per The Telegraph, some think this NFT launch is just a “strategic PR play.”
Moreover, the executive director of The Coalition for a Digital Economy, Dom Hallas, told the newspaper:
“It’s easy to mock as a whimsical policy announcement. But it’s an important signal to the global decentralised finance community that Britain is open to their growth here when at the same time in Europe regulators are talking about crackdown.”
The minting of NFTs by governments and politicians is becoming a stronger tool with many uses: reaching the younger masses, trying to keep up with the booming technology, a financial tool for funding, donations, and so forth.
As this might be a PR stunt of the UK government, it might also become something the public will soon get used to. For the Royal Mint, at least, if this launch turns into a success, they might realize they are sitting in a gold mine of collectibles as minting NFTs does not involve the same high levels of production that minting uncirculated coins does.
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