UK: Treasury consultation on cryptocurrencies and stablecoins

The UK Treasury has launched a public consultation on cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

The announcement came with the publication of a lengthy official document of no less than 46 pages in which the Treasury Secretary, John Glen MP, reveals that the cryptocurrency task force launched in 2018 recognised that distributed ledger technology (DLT) could have a significant impact Bitcoin Up across a wide range of sectors, with the potential to offer real benefits for financial services.

Furthermore, Glenn reports that although two years ago the cryptocurrency market was immature, with limited evidence that cryptocurrencies could offer real benefits, two years on the scenario is rapidly changing.

In particular he states that stablecoins could:

„Pave the way for faster and cheaper payments, making it easier for people to pay for things or store their money.“

He adds that DLT could bring significant benefits to capital markets, such that it could radically change the way they operate.

Why the UK Treasury is opening up to cryptocurrencies

With a view to enabling Britain to maintain its role as a world leader in financial technology, the aim is to create a regulatory environment through which businesses can innovate, while maintaining high regulatory standards.

To try to achieve this, the Treasury is launching a public consultation aimed specifically at the industry and stakeholders in these new markets, with a view to arriving shortly at a framework to support the secure use of stablecoins.

The document also provides an accurate picture of the current situation, and invites interested parties to submit their responses to the questions posed by 21 March 2021, in order to share their views on this approach, or any other relevant issue.

This initial consultation will be used to define the proposed policy approach to bringing stablecoins within the UK regulatory perimeter, focusing in particular on the responsibilities of financial services regulators.

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