UK To Be Global Cryptoasset Technology Hub

Published / Last Updated on 08/04/2022

Last year, the UK government issued a consultation document on the UK’s potential role in the global cryptoasset industry.  In a speech this week at the Innovate Finance Global Summit by John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, he outlined his findings and the government’s plans.

Government Plans

  • Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) supervision, create a financial market infrastructure sandbox, a testing area for UK innovators to build systems and live test with real users, both corporate, government department and consumers.
  • Establish a cryptoasset working group.
  • Improve the UK tax system to attract crypto businesses and innovators from overseas.
  • Develop further Distributed Ledger Technology (the public register where assets are recorded).
  • They have already commissioned the Royal Mint to design and produce a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), an emblem or logo, in a similar way that Bitcoin, Ethereum and others have.  Britcoin?

Pension and Investment Funds

In addition, the FCA will be required to regulate the industry in full.  This has already started in part, in that the FCA currently regulates this for crime, money laundering and terrorist activity.  This will be extended to allow fund managers to invest part of the portfolios in crypto.  Initially, this will be by issuing a Investment Manager Exemption for non-UK investors.  In short, UK fund managers will be allowed to develop managed funds to include cryptoassets that non-resident investors can invest in with no taxes payable in the UK.  No doubt after these initial funds are launched, they will be made available to UK resident investors.

The FCA has already worked out its initial regulatory costs at £8m that will be spread across all regulated firms.

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