Crypto Fans Pin Hopes on New UK PM and Regulations

Cryptocurrency advocates are hoping they have a friend in new British Prime Minister — and digital currency supporter — Rishi Sunak.

“Hoping for big things in UK,” Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Binance tweeted Tuesday (Oct. 25).

As PYMNTS has noted, Sunak has given people like Zhao some reason for hope. He’s been a vocal proponent of the U.K. FinTech sector and rolled out a number of initiatives in his time as chancellor to champion innovation in that space.

Before stepping down from that post earlier this year, he promoted several measures to support the crypto industry in Britain and even asked the royal mint to commission a nonfungible token (NFT) as part of his goal of making the country a “global hub for crypto asset technology.”

This support means Sunak could be an ally for the industry, Noelle Acheson, author of “Crypto is Macro Now” newsletter and former head of market insights at Genesis, told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, U.K. lawmakers voted to recognize crypto assets as regulated financial instruments and products.

“The substance here is to treat them [crypto] like other forms of financial assets and not to prefer them, but also to bring them within the scope of regulation for the first time,” Andrew Griffith, the financial services and city minister, said before the vote, per a report by CoinDesk.

The bill in question is the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which PYMNTS has called the centerpiece of the U.K. government’s post-Brexit regulatory architecture for financial services. Proponents of the legislation have trumpeted what they call  its “agile” approach to crypto, comparing it to the “more legalistic approach” taken by the European Union