UK Could Intro Crypto Laws Within 12 Months

UK crypto regulation

England could have laws governing the cryptocurrency sector in place within a year.

That’s according to Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, who said in an interview with CNBC Monday (April 18) that specific crypto regulation could be enacted in the next 12 months.

“We’ve got control back of our rulebook, not something the U.K. has had for decades,” Griffith said, referring to his country’s leaving of the European Union.

“So we’ve got the ability to move in an agile and proportionate way. And I’m definitely keen to make the most of that opportunity.”

While the U.S. has been cracking down on cryptocurrency firms of late, the U.K. has taken a different approach, with officials there positioning the country as a hub for the digital asset sector.

The British treasury in February unveiled its proposed regulations for the industry in February, saying it would subject crypto firms to the same oversight as traditional finance companies.

“Our robust approach to regulation mitigates the most significant risks, while harnessing the advantages of crypto technologies,” the treasury said in its announcement. “This enables a new and exciting sector to safely flourish and grow, boosting jobs and investment.”

As PYMNTS wrote, the treasury wants to require crypto platforms to define “the detailed content requirements for admission and disclosure documents” to ensure crypto exchanges have “fair and robust standards.”

Griffith said the U.K.’s approach to regulating the crypto space approach would combine both existing regulations and new ones.

“Wherever possible, we want to see the same asset, the same transaction regulated in the same way. But there are some additional opportunities in the crypto asset or distributed ledger space and we want to take advantage of that,” Griffith told CNBC.

His comments came one day after reports that the U.K.’s central bank had called for limits on stablecoin payments that aren’t backed by liquid capital.

As PYMNTS wrote, it’s a move prompted by the downfall of Silicon Valley Bank, last year’s “crypto winter” and general unease over the idea of crypto assets coming into wide use as a method of payment.

Speaking at an industry event, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe called for limits on the use of stablecoins for payments at scale until a regulatory framework is in place.

“Systemic stablecoins will need to be backed with high quality and liquid assets,” he said, adding, “These could include either deposits at the Bank of England or very highly liquid securities, or some combination of the two.”