Back to Top


Rishi Sunak orders Royal Mint to create UK government-backed NFT | The Independent

Rishi Sunak orders Royal Mint to create UK government-backed NFT | The Independent

Rishi Sunak has ordered the Royal Mint to create a UK government-backed NFT (non-fungible token) that could be traded online.

The Chancellor has told the mint to issue the NFT by the summer as the government examines whether it could borrow money using blockchain technology.

Speaking at a financial technology conference in London on Monday, Mr Sunak’s deputy and the economic cecretary to the Treasury John Glenn, said:

“I am announcing today that the Chancellor has asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token – an NFT – to be issued by the Summer, an emblem of the forward-looking approach we are determined to take.”

The Tory minister there would be “more details available very soon” about the project.

NFTs are unique units of digital data that use the same “blockchain” technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Records of who owns the NFT are stored in distributed databases across users’ computers.

The tokens have in recent years become used as a speculative asset and have been implicated in a number of scams, but their advocates claim they could usher in new forms of digital ownership and even economic models.

The best-known NFTs claim to give the bearer ownership over a unique picture of a cartoon ape, a series known as the “Bored Ape Yacht Club”.

Speaking at the Innovate Global Finance Summit 2022 on Monday, the economic secretary Mr Glenn the British government was “going to prioritise” blockchain technology and could even issue debt and borrow money using the approach.

“Unlike the EU and US, the UK has a small number of regulators, and central government sets the overall framework and can take decisive action. So, we can move very nimbly,” he said.

“And, trust me, we have a determined, unified, single-minded government that is going to prioritise this.

“For instance, we’ll be undertaking a programme of work to explore whether it’s possible to apply [distribued ledger technology] DLT to the debt issuance process.

UK news in pictures

1/50UK news in pictures

UK news in pictures

3 April 2022

Cambridge women’s team celebrate after winning the 76th Women’s Boat Race on the River Thames in London

2 April 2022

People protest against the rising cost of living outside Downing Street in London

1 April 2022

Freight and passenger queues waiting to check in at the Port of Dover, Kent, as some ferry services remain suspended at the Port of Dover following P&O Ferries sacking of 800 seafarers without notice

31 March 2022

A soldier of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment falls off a horse during a practice to participate in the state ceremonial surrounding this year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations at Hyde Park in London

30 March 2022

29 March 2022

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of York arrive at a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London

28 March 2022

Performers including dancers from Ukraine rehearse the finale as Blackpool Tower Circus prepares to reopen following £1 Million renovation

27 March 2022

Re-enactors in the grounds of Bolton Castle near to Leyburn in North Yorkshire, watch as re-enactors bring alive the story of the Battle of Towton, which took place on March 29th, 1461 at a small village near to York called Towton

26 March 2022

Early morning swimmers play with a ball in the sea at Cullercoats Bay on the north east coast of England

25 March 2022

A view of lorries queued on the A20 near Dover in Kent as freight delays continue at the Port of Dover where P&O ferry services remain suspended after the company sacked 800 workers without notice last week

24 March 2022

A group of people thought to be migrants are are guided up the beach after being brought in to Dungeness, Kent, onboard the RNLI Lifeboat following a small boat incident in the Channel

23 March 2022

John Shipton, father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, walks with his son’s partner Stella Moris as they leave from Belmarsh Prison in London where Moris was set to marry Julian Assange


22 March 2022

A pedestrian looks at cherry blossom trees in Battersea Park, in London


21 March 2022

People walk by daffodils and flowering cherry blossom in War Memorial Park in Coventry

20 March 2022

The Druid Order Spring Equinox ceremony held at Tower Hill Terrace in London. The druids hold a ceremony celebrating the rise of the light. Ceridwen, the earth mother, brings token seeds which are symbolically sown around a circle. The concern of The Druid Order is with the evolution of humanity in harmony with the universe and to teach through open meetings, ceremonies, meditation and ritual

19 March 2022

People take part in the “Stand up to Racism” march in central London to mark UN Anti-Racism Day

18 March 2022

A dog walker on Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland

17 March 2022

Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge presents a traditional sprig of shamrock to the mascot of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, Irish Wolfhound dog Turlough Mor known as Seamus – and his handler drummer Adam Walsh during a St Patrick’s Day Parade at Mons Barracks in Aldershot, south west of London.


UK news in pictures

16 March 2022

Lenny Boyd, 5, explores the sunflowers during a preview for Van Gogh Alive, an immersive, multi-sensory art experience combining high-definition projections of Van Gogh’s paintings with digital surround sound and aromas of Provence, at the Festival Square, in Edinburgh

15 March 2022

Racegoers in the crowd watch the runners and riders in action as Brazil and jockey Mark Walsh win the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival

14 March 2022

Nine year old Remo wears the police hat belonging to dog handle Constable Paul O’Donnell as they speak to the media at Tulliallan Police College, Police Scotland’s Headquarters

13 March 2022

A train driver checks Locomotive 4555 as it steams up and prepares to pull out of the platform at Cranmore station on the East Somerset Railway

12 March 2022

Surfers ride the waves at Rest Bay in Porthcawl as a yellow wind warning is in force across West Wales over the weekend

11 March 2022

Members of the Royal Navy march through Portsmouth during a Royal Navy Freedom of the City parade

10 March 2022

A woman walks miniature poodles into the first day of the Crufts Dog Show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre

9 March 2022

A visitor looks at the piece of art called “Myth Explored, explained and exploded” dated of 1993, during a press visit of the exhibition “Natural History” dedicated to British artist Damien Hirst and his formaldehyde sculptures at the Gagosian Kings Cross gallery, in London

AFP via Getty Images

UK news in pictures

8 March 2022

MPs giving a standing ovation to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky after he speaks to them by live video-link in the House of Commons, in London

UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Images

UK news in pictures

7 March 2022

A mural of Ringo Starr, commissioned by Liverpool artist John Culshaw, is unveiled on the gable end of the Empress Pub on Admiral Street in Toxteth, Liverpool

6 March 2022

Cars make their way along the flooded A1101 in Welney in Norfolk

5 March 2022

People hold placards as they take part in a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Trafalgar Square, London

4 March 2022

Volunteers help sort through fresh donations after more than 500 boxes of essential supplies were gathered by Parenting Network at Portsmouth Guildhall

3 March 2022

Commuters wait to get on a bus near Liverpool Street Station as all London Underground lines are suspended after thousands of workers began strike action in London

2 March 2022

Rend Platings and her husband Michael outside their home in Cambridge, which they have painted in the colours of the Ukraine flag in a show of support for friends in the country

1 March 2022

Players take part in the Royal Shrovetide Football Match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, which has been played in the town since the 12th century

28 February 2022

Donations at the Klub Orla Bialego (White Eagle Club) in Balham, south London, made by members of the public, prior to their aid convoy setting off to Ukraine in aid of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion

27 February 2022

People protest in front of the National Gallery in London against Russia’s massive military operation in Ukraine

26 February 2022

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George in the stands during the Guinness Six Nations match at Twickenham Stadium, London

25 February 2022

People head to St Mary’s Cathedral to light candles after a demonstration outside the Russian Consulate General in Edinburgh, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine

24 February 2022

People protest against the Russian invasion on Ukraine outside Downing Street in London

23 February 2022

Swimmers from Hampstead Ponds cross the road in their swimming costumes outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London, as they await the result of a judicial review brought by Christina Efthimiou over whether the charges for bathing at the ponds in Hampstead Heath unlawfully discriminate against disabled people

22 February 2022

Runners line up for the start of The Anshin Security Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Taunton Racecourse

21 February 2022

Shoes on display at the ROKER AW22 presentation at London Fashion Week, in London

20 February 2022

The waters of the River Severn in edge towards homes in Ironbridge, Shropshire, as more wet and windy weather is set to sweep the UK. Storm Franklin is set to strike the UK just days after Storm Eunice destroyed buildings and left 1.4 million homes without power

19 February 2022

Damaged caused to home of Dominic Good, in Stondon Massey, near Brentwood, Essex, after a 400-year-old oak tree in his garden was uprooted by Storm Eunice.

17 February 2021

Activists from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) protest against the use of feathers in clothing, ahead of London Fashion Week

16 February 2022

Waves crashing on the seafront at Blackpool before Storm Dudley hits the north of England

15 February 2022

Hailey Duff, left, Vicky Wright, centre and Jennifer Dodds in action for Great Britsin during their women’s curling round robin match against Japan at the Beijing Winter Olympics. Team GB sealed a 10-4 victory

14 February 2022

Members of the Household Cavalry walk past Wellington Arch and a large inflatable heart, on Valentine’s Day in London

13 February 2022

People in costume attend the Whitby Steampunk Weekend in Yorkshire

12 February 2022

People in Parliament Square, London, take part in the People’s Assembly nationwide protest about cost of living crisis

“Could the UK one day issue a debt instrument using DLT? I don’t yet know the answer … but let’s find out.

“And we will lead by example. We are already effectively using crypto-technologies to make government more efficient.

“We are developing opportunities to use distributed ledger technology for Customs and International Trade, to ease the import of goods, and we will continue to support further opportunities to deploy that technology.

“Finally, I am announcing today that the Chancellor has asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token – an NFT… to be issued by the Summer, an emblem of the forward-looking approach we are determined to take… and there will be more details available very soon.”

In a statement a spokesperson for HM Treasury said: “This decision shows the the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK.”

This content was originally published here.