A range of U.K. lawmakers from the Crypto and Digital Assets All Parliamentary Group (APPG) is urging the government to implement cryptocurrency financial services regulations in a more timely manner. Additionally, they recommend appointing a dedicated official to oversee the process. In a report published on Monday, the group emphasized that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and require immediate regulation.
These lawmakers, who hail from different political parties and both houses of parliament, propose a total of 53 recommendations to regulate digital assets in the U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government recently finished a consultation that proposed incorporating cryptocurrencies into the scope of existing financial services regulations. CryptoUK, a lobby group affiliated with the APPG, responded to the consultation with the request that specific cryptocurrency regulations be enacted within a year—an objective the government has expressed hope in achieving.
Parliament is currently discussing bills that would grant lawmakers increased authority over the cryptocurrency sector and enable law enforcement agencies to freeze and seize digital assets. As it stands, cryptocurrency companies must register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in order to operate in the U.K.
Lisa Cameron, chair of the APPG, stated in a press release on Monday, “Given the rapid growth of cryptocurrency and digital assets, the timing of this report is vital to protect consumers whilst ensuring the U.K.’s leadership in this sector can be realized.”
The crypto APPG initiated the inquiry in August of last year, following an April announcement from Sunak, then the finance minister, outlining the government’s intention to transform the country into a crypto hub. The APPG’s inquiry included soliciting views from cryptocurrency industry members, regulators, and the general public.
The report outlines the responsibilities of the government official tasked with overseeing crypto regulations, as well as the current stances of regulators such as the Bank of England, Advertising Standards Authority, and the FCA on cryptocurrency regulation. Furthermore, the lawmakers discussed the potential of central bank digital currencies—the subject of another government consultation that will inform its decision on whether to issue one.
The need for effective cryptocurrency regulation is unquestionable, with this group of lawmakers pushing for swift action. On one hand, it ensures consumer protection and paves the way for the U.K. to become a global leader in digital assets; on the other hand, hasty regulatory implementations might stifle innovation and slow down the progress of crypto-friendly initiatives.