UK to mint its own NFT and push forward with crypto regulation
Britain announces plans to mint its own NFT as it looks to ‘lead the way’ in crypto
LONDON — The U.K. government on Monday announced plans to mint its own non-fungible token, as part of a push toward becoming a “world leader” in the cryptocurrency space.
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint — the government-owned company responsible for minting coins for the U.K. — to create and issue the NFT “by the summer,” City Minister John Glen said at a fintech event in London. “There will be more details available very soon,” he added.
The initiative is part of a broader effort by the government to “lead the way” in crypto, according to Glen. The minister announced a number of steps the U.K. will take to bring digital assets under more regulatory scrutiny, including plans to:
“We shouldn’t be thinking of regulation as a static, rigid thing,” Glen said. “Instead, we should be thinking in terms of regulatory ‘code’ — like computer code — which we refine and rewrite when we need to.”
CNBC previously reported on the government’s plans to unveil a regulatory framework for cryptoassets and stablecoins.
Stablecoins, cryptocurrencies that derive their value from sovereign currencies like the U.S dollar, are a fast-growing but controversial phenomena in the crypto world.
Tether, the world’s biggest stablecoin, has a circulating supply of more than $80 billion. But it’s attracted criticism over a lack of transparency around the reserves that back the token.
Glen said the government was also “widening” its gaze to look at other aspects of crypto, including so-called Web3, a movement that proposes a more decentralized version of the internet built on blockchain technology.
“No one knows for sure yet how Web3 is going to look,” Glen said. “But there’s every chance that blockchain is going to be integral to its development.”
“We want this country to be there, leading from the front, seeking out the greatest economic opportunities.”
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