On Wednesday, Andrew Griffith, the financial services minister of the United Kingdom, committed to ensuring greater engagement with the crypto industry, while he is working on new laws post-Brexit.
The finance minister last April, Rishi Sunak, who is now the Prime Minister of the UK, had stated that he wanted Britain to become a crypto hub.
However, there has been no progress on the matter since then and it appears that a ‘consultation’ or even any other document that can start a discussion about how financial technology is to be governed has become overdue.
A member of the Conservative Party of the new premier, Griffith spoke to lawmakers at the parliamentary debate on Wednesday about regulating crypto.
He said that their goal was to conduct six meetings with the crypto sector this year and include a number of participants in the industry.
Griffith said that they wanted this technology to be used in a safe manner, so they would introduce sensible, balanced, and timely regulations for this purpose.
He added that their aim was to ensure regulatory clarity for the crypto sector and to facilitate investment in financial technology.
Despite these statements, the finance minister did not provide any timeline. He refused to set a date for a document to be issued on rules for the crypto sector.
This would have happened according to the new powers that were added in the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which was supposed to have come before Christmas last year.
The only thing he said related to the timeline was that it would happen in weeks rather than months and that it took time for the consultative process, even though they wanted it to move quickly.
The crypto industry
The crypto industry in the United Kingdom is waiting for the government to provide regulatory clarity because they want to know the rules that will be used for governing it.
Griffith admitted that they were aware of the need for speed, as there have already been concerns about the slow process of registration by the Financial Conduct Authority’s officials.
He said that since they wanted their financial regulatory system to be proportionate, they need to ensure that regulatory authorities are moving at the correct pace.
He added that they could not have an internationally competitive financial system if it is not able to operate at the right speed and has slow latency.
A lawmaker from the Scottish National Party, Lisa Cameron, also serves as the chair of a cross-parliamentary cryptocurrency group.
She stated that while they agreed with the vision of the government, they needed more clarity where timing is concerned.
She said that the regulatory framework needs to be developed carefully because their topmost priority is to protect consumers.
However, she added that it had been almost a year since the government had established the vision of transforming the United Kingdom into a global crypto hub.
No document or bill has been introduced in this regard since then.