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Rule Bitcoin-nia: UK to Introduce Crypto Regulation in July

UK Economic Secretary to The Treasury, Bim Afolami, said the framework encompasses crypto activities including operating an exchange and custody

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The United Kingdom is set to introduce new regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies by the end of July.

UK Economic Secretary to The Treasury, Bim Afolami, announced the news at the Innovate Finance Global Summit on Monday.

"We are now working at pace to deliver the legislation to put our final proposals for our regime in place," Afolami said. "Once it goes live, a whole host of crypto asset activities, including operating an exchange, taking custody of customers’ assets and other things, will come within the regulatory perimeter for the first time."

Last month, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) announced it would accept applications for the admission of Bitcoin and Ethereum crypto exchange-traded notes (ETNs) in the second quarter of 2024.

London Stock Exchange Opens Doors to Bitcoin and Ethereum ETNs for Professional Investors
This development represents a pivotal moment for the UK’s cryptocurrency market, signaling a growing recognition of digital assets within the country’s financial regulatory framework.

Afolami, who also serves as the MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, said in February that the government was aiming to finish its stablecoin legislation "within six months."

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will oversee industry activity as the UK government aims to make the country a preferred destination for crypto. Such activities include operating an exchange and custodial services.

However, the FCA continues to face challenges from the industry. 450 alerts on illegal crypto adverts were flagged by the market watchdog in just three months.

The UK began establishing a framework for stablecoins back in 2023. After a year-long study, the Bank of England has found that digital currency technology may allow a "diverse range" of new ways to utilise money, bringing them one step closer to establishing their digital currency.

But establishing its own stablecoin could still be years away. If the Bank decides to move further a UK central bank digital currency (CBDC), called "Britcoin," maybe a reality only by 2030.

UK Taking Baby Steps to Launching “Britcoin”, But Still Years Away
At Politico’s Global Tech Day event, BoE deputy governor Cunliffe once again stated that the United Kingdom was “likely” to need a CBDC, giving the project chances of “seven out of 10.”

Nonetheless, the UK has made significant strides to embrace crypto. In November, the UK government will passed implement the Digital Securities Sandbox (DSS), a pioneering initiative aimed at bolstering the nation's digital assets sector. The DSS was part of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's comprehensive strategy to enhance the UK economy, encompassing 110 measures.

UK Govt to Pass Legislation to Adapt Digital Asset Regulatory Framework
The UK’s pursuit of the Digital Securities Sandbox (DSS) is a strategic move to boost the sector by fostering innovation and adapting regulatory frameworks