Chris Philp – digital minister of the United Kingdom – revealed that the Johnson administration plans to turn the country into a “global crypto hub” while reiterating a cautious stance regarding the potential crimes within the digital asset space.
- In a radio interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, the minister stated that the government would push to develop the country and London into crypto centers. It came after the UK treasury touted such a strategy in April, as the crypto industry had sparred with the nation’s regulators that imposed overarching oversights on the sector.
- Philp’s latest response came as a relative relief to the industry. However, he insisted that cooperating with regulatory authorities such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England is necessary for ensuring that “balance is struck in the right way.”
- FCA is notorious for its unfriendly stance on digital assets. Its controversial ban on retail investors trading crypto derivatives in 2020 cited that they tended to have inadequate knowledge of futures, options, and others which could lead to a great loss on their own costs. Nonetheless, a survey later suggested that 97% of all participants disagreed with such a ban.
- Earlier this year, the watchdog said it was prepared to strengthen rules on cryptocurrencies, limiting individuals from accessing the digital assets market. The authority views bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a novel risk of harm to consumers.
- Philp also stressed the importance of having a set of frameworks in place to tackle crimes such as money laundering and using crypto to circumvent sanctions.
“We’ve got to do that in a way that protects the public and in particular pays attention to issues concerning for example money laundering, and making sure that crypto is not used as a way to circumvent things like sanctions.”
- To addresses crimes and scams in the crypto space, prime minister Boris Johnson reportedly was set to introduce a bill that enables law enforcement agents to confiscate and recover such assets “more quickly and easily” in case they are employed in criminal activities.