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British government hints at crypto regulation amid plans for NFT

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The UK is looking at regulating cryptocurrencies and wants to create a non-fungible token (NFT) for international trading purposes as part of its vision for a digital future.

Speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit, as part of Fintech Week 2022, John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury stated that the plan is to make the country a global hub.

“I’m announcing today the chancellor has asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token,” Glen said during his keynote speech at the event held recently.

“There's a genuine opportunity to build on our strengths in fintech, seize the capitalist energy which has already made UK financial services what it is and use it to unleash the potential of crypto technologies.”

He told attendees that this would make the UK “the very best place in the world to start crypto-companies.”

The MP also underlined that the UK is already the leading European Fintech hub, with only the US out in front on the worldwide stage.

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Better handling of digital assets

However, the government wants to follow the lead of the US by trying to bring in more regulation for handling digital assets. This has already resulted in the UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak requesting that the Royal Mint to produce a non-fungible token (NFT) by this summer in order to make it an ‘emblem’ of the UK’s goal to become a “global cryptoasset technology hub”

“Almost half of the Fintech unicorns in Europe are based in the UK. And last year, the sector attracted more investment than France, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands combined,” Glen told the conference. “We think that by making this country a hospitable place for crypto, we can attract investment, generate swathes of new jobs, and create a wave of ground-breaking new products and services.”

NFTs can be used as digital tokens that take the place of assets including anything from digital images and works of art through to real estate. However, governments on both sides of the Atlantic are of the opinion there needs to be a better degree of regulation, especially before digital assets can be commonly accepted around the world.

Over in the US, lawmakers are working alongside government officials to develop a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The move would enable the US to keep pace with the evolution of digital assets in other countries, especially with the likes of China, Thailand, the UAE and Nigeria, having already been particularly proactive on the cryptocurrency front.

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Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.