Global: UK to Introduce New Crypto Regulations by July

Bim Ofolami, UK government Economic Secretary to the Treasury,
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The UK Treasury has announced plans to unveil a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and stablecoins by July. This initiative is part of a broader effort to foster local innovation in digital assets and blockchain technology.

Bim Afolami, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, shared details of the upcoming regulations during his speech at the Innovate Finance Global Summit (IFGS) 2024. Afolami emphasized that establishing robust crypto regulations is crucial for maintaining the UK’s competitive edge in the global fintech arena.

“True change in our financial ecosystem will come from strengthening our regulatory framework for crypto assets and stablecoins, ensuring we continue to lead in fintech,” Afolami stated. He also noted that the new regulations would strike a balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding consumers.

The final proposals, expected to be ready by the summer, will address specific aspects such as stablecoin and crypto staking operations. “The forthcoming regulations will, for the first time, bring a range of crypto asset activities, including exchange operations and custody of customer assets, within the regulatory perimeter,” added Afolami.

During the same conference, Afolami announced the creation of an open finance task force. “This task force will develop precise recommendations to leverage data sets and commercial incentives effectively, enhancing SME lending capabilities through open finance,” he explained.

Additionally, the UK is set to implement controversial new measures under the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. Starting April 26, UK authorities will have increased powers to directly retrieve cryptocurrencies from exchanges and custodial wallets, aimed at curbing financial crimes linked to crypto assets.

This legislation allows for the expedited confiscation and seizure of crypto assets suspected of involvement in illegal activities, streamlining processes that previously required extensive legal interventions.

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