The British Treasury is to create an NFT. Minted by the Royal Mint, the digital asset will stand as a sign of the UK government’s “forward-looking approach” to cryptocurrency businesses and technology.
Notwithstanding this positive move toward crypto, the proposed NFT has garnered some confusion. As revealed in a keynote speech at this week’s Innovate Finance Global Summit, UK Secretary to Treasury John Glen stated that the government will issue an NFT by the northern summer.
Finally, I am announcing today that the Chancellor [Rishi Sunak] has asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token – an NFT … to be issued by the summer, an emblem of the forward-looking approach we are determined to take … and there will be more details available very soon.
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the UK Treasury
The announcement also included the government’s vision for stablecoins and distributed ledger technologies as part of its pro-crypto strategy for the UK’s financial services industry. This bold move is supposed to help position Britain as a “global crypto-asset technology hub”.
The UK is also playing a role in the new OECD crypto-assets tax reporting framework, which aims to enhance tax transparency and hopefully restore consumer confidence in the sector by enabling a level playing field in global tax reporting.
UK Stablecoin Regulation Under Way
The government says it intends to bring new legislation to stablecoins within its regulatory regime. This means that issuers and service providers offering such products in the UK would need to follow standards set by UK authorities. According to Treasury Secretary Glen, “I can confirm that we will be legislating to bring certain stablecoins into our payments framework … creating the conditions for stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and grow in the UK.”
Sunak says it is his ambition to make the UK a global hub for crypto and blockchain technology through close oversight of the emerging sector. “We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.”
This move by the treasury comes on the heels of Cambridge University launching its institutional crypto research group at the beginning of March.
Crypto Twitter in a Tizz
With levels of inflation in Britain hitting a three-decade high, according to The Guardian, many seem to be wondering what exactly is the purpose of the proposed NFT:
The UK government hasn’t yet provided any additional details – such as what the funds will be used for or how many NFTs will be minted – apart from the suitably vague release date:
UK authorities recently seized US$1.9 million worth of NFTs as part of an elaborate tax vision scheme. This new offering may come at a strange time but the broader move into blockchain tech could be positive for the space.
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