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U.K. Crypto Regulation: Will the Election Shake Things Up or Stay the Course?

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As the United Kingdom prepares for a general election, industry stakeholders remain confident that the country’s progress in regulating the cryptocurrency sector will continue, regardless of the outcome.

The ruling Conservative party, which has been in power for nearly 14 years, has taken significant steps to position the U.K. as a global crypto hub.

This includes introducing a markets bill that would enable the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to regulate crypto as a financial activity.

TLDR

Industry stakeholders believe that the upcoming U.K. general election is unlikely to derail the country’s progress in regulating the crypto sector.
The ruling Conservative party has made significant strides in positioning the U.K. as a global crypto hub, introducing legislation to regulate the industry.
The Labour party, currently favored to win the election, has indicated its support for making the U.K. a securities tokenization hub but has not provided details on its approach to crypto regulation.
Experts suggest that regardless of the election outcome, the U.K.’s regulators, such as the Bank of England and the FCA, will continue to develop crypto policies and regulations.

In the coming weeks, the Conservatives have promised to implement legislation for stablecoins and staking before the election.

Experts, such as Adam Jackson, director of policy at Innovate Finance, believe this is a realistic goal.

“That’s what the government said they would do,” Jackson stated. “We haven’t heard otherwise as to why that’s not feasible. So all things being equal, they should have those powers by the time of the national election.”

Laura Navaratnam, U.K. policy lead at the Crypto Council for Innovation, agreed that the Conservative government is on track, noting that the country’s regulators, including the Bank of England and the FCA, have been moving forward by publishing discussion papers on stablecoins.

However, the upcoming election could see a shift in power, with the Labour party currently favored to win. A recent Ipsos poll showed that 44% of voters intend to vote for Labour, while only 19% plan to support the Conservatives.

The size of the majority in the election could also impact the pace of crypto regulation. “I think for any party, the smaller the majority, the more they will be constrained in what they do in some of these areas,” Jackson noted.

While Labour has not provided detailed plans for crypto regulation, the party has expressed its intention to make the U.K. a securities tokenization hub.

This aligns with the desires of many in the industry who have been calling for a tokenization regime. CryptoUK, a trade association, welcomed Labour’s commitment to helping turn the U.K. into a global hub for digital tokenization.

Despite the potential for political change, experts believe that the U.K.’s approach to crypto regulation will remain stable. Varun Paul, senior director and business lead for CBDC and financial market infrastructure at Fireblocks, stated,

“I’m pleased – I don’t think that digital assets are proving to be a political hot potato at the moment, I think we’re lucky in the U.K. that it’s not become a political battleground like it has been in the U.S.”

As the election approaches, the crypto industry in the U.K. remains optimistic that the groundwork laid by the current government will endure, and that regulators will continue to develop policies and regulations to support the growth of the sector.

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