On Thursday, British lawmakers approved new stablecoin legislation, with the government promising to consult on additional crypto restrictions and a digital pound in the coming weeks.
Then-finance minister Rishi Sunak, who has since been elevated to prime minister, declared in April that he wants to turn the United Kingdom into a center for cryptocurrency.
Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that aim to maintain their value against the pound or the US dollar and can be used as a form of payment. Lawmakers are currently poring over government proposals to regulate them.
Andrew Griffith, the recently appointed Economic Secretary to the Treasury, told the committee looking into the Financial Services and Markets Bill that “risks to consumers and financial stability” are also present in certain crypto assets and distributed ledger technology.
We want to cautiously take advantage of those opportunities. pointing to developments in the regulation of cryptocurrency in competing countries like the U.S. and the European Union, Griffith continued, “but also proceeded in a careful approach.
The government’s stance, according to Griffith, is to begin with the most reliable, least volatile coins that are most likely to be used as a settlement currency by intermediaries. From there, we will move forward and consult.
If Parliament agrees, the bill also gives the U.K. Treasury the authority to expand the regulatory net beyond stablecoins. Griffith stated that the consultation on how to accomplish that will be released prior to the suspension of Parliament for the holiday season.