14 May

Industry stakeholders in the UK are confident that the upcoming national election won't hinder the progress the country has made in regulating the crypto sector. Despite no official election date yet, it's anticipated to occur this year. 

The current Conservative government, in power for almost 14 years, has been actively implementing crypto-related measures since 2022, aiming to establish the UK as a crypto hub. They've introduced a markets bill to enable crypto regulation under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are now committed to enacting legislation for stablecoins and staking before the election.

Adam Jackson, Director of Policy at Innovate Finance, emphasized the importance of secondary legislation empowering the FCA to regulate crypto, including stablecoins, which the government has promised. Laura Navaratnam, UK Policy Lead at the Crypto Council for Innovation, echoed this sentiment, expressing confidence in the Conservative government's trajectory. Despite acknowledging the potential for political turbulence to slow progress, Navaratnam highlighted ongoing efforts by UK regulators, such as the Bank of England and the FCA, in advancing discussions on stablecoins.

As the Conservatives face the looming possibility of an election announcement, they're gearing up for a challenging battle against the Labour party, which currently holds favor according to an Ipsos poll conducted in April. The poll revealed a significant lead for Labour, with 44% of voters intending to support them, compared to only 19% for the Conservatives.

Recent local elections in the UK further underscored Labour's rising popularity, with the party making substantial gains while the Conservatives suffered losses, as evidenced by BBC data. 

Labour's success in securing councilor seats has positioned them as formidable contenders in the upcoming national election.

Adam Jackson of Innovate Finance emphasized the significance of the majority a party holds, suggesting that a smaller majority could limit their actions in various areas, including crypto regulation.

Labour has outlined ambitions to establish the UK as a hub for securities tokenization, a move welcomed by industry stakeholders like CryptoUK. However, specifics regarding crypto regulation remain unclear in Labour's plans, prompting questions about their approach in this crucial area.

Varun Paul of Fireblocks noted that while Labour's stance on crypto regulation may not be fully articulated yet, there's ample time before the election for further details to emerge. 

Unlike in the US, where digital assets have become a contentious political issue, the UK appears to be approaching crypto regulation with a more stable and bipartisan perspective.

Labour's expressed support for the Bank of England's work on a digital pound suggests a continuity in the country's approach to financial services regulation, as Jackson highlighted. Overall, the expectation is for a steady trajectory in financial regulation, irrespective of the election outcome.

May 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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