UK Legislation Aims to Bring Crypto Activities Within Regulatory Perimeter

Crypto Staking Legislation 

The United Kingdom is gearing up to introduce fresh legislation on crypto staking and stablecoins by July this year, as announced by Economic Secretary Bim Afolami during the Innovate Finance Global Summit in London on Monday.

UK Stablecoin And Crypto Staking Legislation 

Afolami stated that they are currently working diligently to finalize the legislation required to implement their regulatory regime. Once enacted, various crypto asset activities, such as operating an exchange and holding customers’ assets, will fall under regulatory oversight for the first time.

The forthcoming legislation follows the UK government’s unveiling of plans for revised stablecoin regulation in October 2023. The aim is to reduce the risk of customer harm and address the conduct, prudential, and financial stability risks associated with stablecoins.

However, the current Conservative-led government faces an upcoming election later this year, potentially impacting its long-term financial regulation plans in the crypto sector. The UK’s Labour Party maintains a solid lead over the reigning conservative party, with April 2024 polls showing a 65% disapproval rating of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, a staunch cryptocurrency supporter.

The UK government has demonstrated agility in introducing several policies on the crypto industry in recent years, including passing the Financial Services and Markets Bill (FMSB) in June 2023. According to a statement by the UK’s Payment Service Regulator (PSR), the act makes “absolutely clear that a payment system handling stablecoins can be subject to regulation by the PSR.”

In March, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) unveiled plans to combat market abuse in the cryptocurrency sector by enhancing market monitoring capabilities and developing advanced analytics systems.

The UK government’s latest digital asset-related regulation coincides with efforts by US lawmakers to push for similar stablecoin legislation. Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) are leading legislative endeavors stateside, potentially attaching stablecoin concerns to a larger, unrelated bill to secure bipartisan support.

Uncertainty looms over whether they can successfully pass legislation before the November US presidential election.

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