A second group of lawmakers has launched an inquiry into the UK government’s approach to the crypto industry.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Crypto and Digital Assets will begin its review in September.
Until recently, cryptography was of interest to only a handful of parliamentarians. But in recent months that has started to change.
In April, the government declared it wants to make the UK a crypto huband the influential Treasury Committee launched an investigation in July.
APPG on Crypto Chair Lisa Cameron, Scottish National Party MP, said now is “a pivotal time for crypto”. His group will examine how the crypto concentration plan will work in practice, as well as where regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority fit into the government’s plans.
The consultation will also explore issues related to consumer protection, potential challenges for UK industry and the role of central bank digital currencies.
While parliament is in recess until September, the APPG has launched a call for evidence and will also use the process to contribute to the Treasury Committee’s separate report later this year.
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The announcement of the UK crypto hub, followed by a brutal fall in cryptocurrency prices over the spring that hit ordinary retail investors hard, has sparked interest in the industry more broadly.
The FCA is starting to draw up policies aimed at protecting retail investors, including the possibility of encouraging limits on individuals’ bitcoin holdings and limiting how cryptocurrencies can be traded.
Meanwhile, the recently announced Financial Markets and Services Bill will allow certain types of stablecoins to be regulated as a form of payment in the UK. The Treasury is also looking at measures, which would see the Bank of England step in to oversee the collapse of stablecoin companies in the event they “fail on a systemic scale”.
The APPG on Crypto was established earlier this year and is made up of a dozen lawmakers from the Conservative, Labor and Scottish National parties. It includes former health secretary Matt Hancock and Tory MP Harriett Baldwin, who also sits on the Treasury select committee.
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Speaking about the group last month, Cameron said he wanted to use the APPG to “bring MPs and the public closer to crypto”.
The APPG inquiry also comes as the crypto industry continues a lobbying push in the UK. In June, Financial News revealed that prominent crypto investor Christopher Harborne had donated £500,000 to the Conservative Party in early 2022. The Conservative Party denied any link between the donations and government policy.
Meanwhile, crypto companies and their representatives accounted for more than a fifth of aa responses recent FCA consultation on how it regulates risky investments.
Cameron said the UK “doesn’t need to give crypto companies millions in tax breaks to come here like other international areas might. There’s enough here to attract people”.
“What we want is a solid business that goes forward from a good foundation of trust that has consumer protection as its axis,” he added.
To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Alex Daniel