UK Crypto Regulations Praised as “Wonderful”

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  • Brian Quintenz, Head of Policy at A16z Crypto, has praised the UK’s new crypto regulations, describing them as “wonderful.”
  • HM Treasury has published its ‘Future Financial Services Regulatory Regime for Cryptoassets’ framework, reinforcing its commitment to becoming a crypto hub
  • This approach stands in contrast to the US, where efforts to impose stricter regulations might result in talent relocating to countries like the UK

The UK’s new crypto regulations have been described as “wonderful” by Brian Quintenz, the Head of Policy at crypto investment outfit A16z Crypto. HM Treasury published its ‘Future Financial Services Regulatory Regime for Cryptoassets’ framework yesterday following consultation with various parties in which it reinforced its desire to become a crypto hub and stated that it wants to use the framework to help blockchain projects build rather than banning crypto assets outright. This is in stark contrast to countries like the US which are trying to strangle the sector, a move that could see talent leaving the US for countries like the UK.

Britain Still Wants to be a Crypto Hub

The Treasury report noted that the British government’s “ambition to make the UK a global hub for cryptoasset technologies remains steadfast,” adding that the country’s crypto framework is “now taking clear shape” and that the various regulatory developments make the UK “the obvious choice for starting and scaling a cryptoasset business.”

This is a statement that Quintenz clearly agrees with, which isn’t a surprise given that in June the company opened a new UK office claiming that the UK is “strongly positioned to lead in web3”. In an X post, Quintenz laid down a summary of the report and why it is good news for the UK and for crypto, noting that the report:

  • Excludes airdrops from the token issuance regulatory perimeter, acknowledging their non-public offering nature.
  • Clarifies that NFTs fall outside the scope, especially mentioning in-game transactions and digital item sales as non-financial activities.
  • Affirms a cautious approach to DeFi and acknowledges its potential importance in financial services (the government does not intend to ban DeFi).
  • Strongly opposes regulating crypto trading as gambling or banning crypto, citing misalignment with international regulatory efforts and harm to crypto innovation.

Quintez added that while there is “more detail required, especially around concepts of decentralization,” A16z remains “optimistic” that the Treasury has the right balance between customer protection and innovation at the heart of its operations:

The UK is taking a giant leap forward to establish itself as the global web3 centre. We couldn’t have chosen a better time to be here. It’s time to build!

The UK is working on a number of crypto-related bills at the moment while also ensuring greater compliance from crypto-handling entities regarding consumer protection.