UK Parliament Launches Inquiry Into Crypto

UK, Parliament, crypto, digital assets, regulation, comments

The U.K. Parliament’s Treasury Committee is conducting an inquiry into the role cryptocurrencies play in the United Kingdom, and is asking the public for input.

The committee said Wednesday (July 13) that the inquiry will examine “opportunities and risks that crypto-assets may bring to consumers, businesses and the Government (and associated bodies),” as well as the “potential impact of distributed ledger technology on financial institutions, including the central bank, and financial infrastructure.”

Members of the public are invited to offer their thoughts on a number of related topics, such as the likelihood of digital currencies replacing traditional currency, and the risks and opportunities presented by the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The committee is also seeking input on the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and their potential risks and rewards for both the public and private sector, as well as feedback on ways government processes — such as the tax system — can be adapted if cryptocurrency becomes more popular.

In addition, the committee wants to hear from people on whether the government is “striking the right balance between regulating crypto-assets to provide adequate protection for consumers and businesses and not stifling innovation.”

The committee said the deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. BST on Monday, Sept. 12.

PYMNTS reported last month that the U.K. is set to start live-testing crypto blockchain technology in financial markets activities like trading and settlement as part of the plan to become a global “crypto hub.”

Related: UK Government Pushes for Crypto Sandbox, Stablecoin Regulation

Gwyneth Nurse, the Finance Ministry’s director general for financial services, has said the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), the underlying technology used by crypto assets, is a key priority for making financial markets more innovative.

Nurse said that’s why the U.K. is set to launch a regulatory sandbox next year for testing DLT projects under the supervision of regulators.

A regulatory sandbox is a safe testing ground where companies can try out new projects without putting consumers at risk. Sandboxes have been very successful in nurturing FinTech firms in the U.K.

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