The UK digital minister is emphasizing his government’s desire to make the country a global hub for cryptocurrency activity, even as he expressed caution about illegal activity.
“We intend for the UK and London to be crypto hubs,” Chris Philp told Bloomberg Radio on Wednesday (June 15). “But of course we have to do it in a way that protects the public and, in particular, pays attention to issues related to, for example, money laundering, and making sure that cryptocurrencies are not used as a form of circumvent things like sanctions.”
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In April, the British Treasury said it wanted to make the UK a global crypto hub. As PYMNTS reported at the time, Economic Secretary John Glen argued that the country has a strong and globally recognized legal system that would be a “huge asset… in making the UK an attractive hub for all things digital”.
Glen also argued that the country has a compact enforcement framework, saying that unlike the US and EU, its “small number of regulators” can “move nimbly.”
In his interview with Bloomberg, Philp said the UK Treasury is working with the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority to ensure the right regulatory balance is struck.
Read More: EU commissioner urges parliament to adopt crypto rules to protect consumers
His comments came a day after Mairead McGuinness, the European Union’s financial services commissioner, told the European Parliament that passage of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation is urgent, providing “the right tool to address concerns.” on consumer protection, market integrity and financial stability.”
And all this is happening against the background of the upcoming “crypto winter”. The industry has struggled lately with rising interest rates and a series of high-profile crashes, such as that of the Terra blockchain. On Wednesday, Bitcoin came close to falling below $20,000 for the first time in 18 months, and several crypto firms have begun instituting layoffs.