UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak
As cryptocurrencies and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) continue to catch on, governments do not want to be left behind in the buzz. While a handful of governments including the Chinese and Nigerian governments have banned cryptocurrencies with little or no hope for its spin-off – NFTs, other governments have fully embraced them. For instance, Bitcoin is a legal tender in El Salvador and is allowed to thrive in other countries without legal status.
On Monday, the UK government announced its plans to mint its own NFT token asSna like other countries, it is looking to become a leader in the cryptocurrency space.
According to John Glen, the economic secretary to the treasury and city minister, the UK’s Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint to create and issue an NFT by the summer. He said this while speaking at a fintech event held in London adding that “there will be more details available very soon.”
Like cryptocurrencies when they first came out of the closet, NFTs have also caught on. NFTs are digital assets representing ownership of digital assets and are usually stored on a blockchain. NFTs have become increasingly popular and have gone mainstream just like cryptocurrencies thanks to increasing adoption from influential people and companies.
The plan to create and issue a non-fungible token is part of the UK’s NFT initiative to become a leader in the cryptocurrency space, the city minister said. He also announced steps that’ll be taken to regulate digital assets. These plans include bringing stablecoins within the UK’s existing regulations on electronic payments, examining how to treat taxing of DeFi loans and investments, asking the Law Commission to consider the legal status of decentralized autonomous organizations, etc.
According to city minister John Glen, “We shouldn’t be thinking of regulation as a static, rigid thing. Instead, we should be thinking in terms of regulatory ‘code’ — like computer code — which we refine and rewrite when we need to.”
He also revealed that the government was interested in other “offsprings” of crypto including Web3 which is gaining so much popularity of late. “No one knows for sure yet how Web3 is going to look. But there’s every chance that blockchain is going to be integral to its development. We want this country to be there leading from the front, seeking out the greatest economic opportunities,” the city minister said.