UK Must Act Quickly to Ensure Fintech Lead, Encourage Crypto: Treasury Report Urges

The U.K. Treasury has released a report calling for a new regime for the regulation and administration of crypto assets.

An independent review initiated by U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak and led by Ron Kalifa shows the U.K. Treasury has set out a plan to retain what the report called the U.K.’s leadership position in fintech.

The report, titled the “Kalifa Review of U.K. Fintech” states the country has the potential to be the global center for the issuance, clearing, settlement, trading, and exchange of crypto and digital assets.

Kalifa highlights the European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) proposal has been developing its propositions and the U.K. needs to “act quickly” to preserve and maintain its position as a hub for fintech firms.

“The U.K. should aim to be at least as broad in ambition as MiCA – but should also consider whether it can develop a bespoke regime that is more innovation-driven. A bespoke regime for crypto assets should adopt a functional and technology-neutral approach, in line with the principles of the current regulatory framework, as well as the concept of ‘same risk, same regulation’, while being tailored to the risks arising from crypto asset-related activities.”

Kalifa Review of UK Fintech

There is the need to be “flexible” to deal with future challenges – such as how Decentralized Finance (DeFi) should be regulated, said the report.

The review concludes the U.K. must continue participating in the international financial regulatory group, the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), and lead the development of policy and regulation in the areas of crypto and digital assets.

Read more: UK Treasury Calls for Feedback on Approach to Cryptocurrency and Stablecoin Regulation

In January, the U.K. Treasury released a consultation paper to gather feedback from stakeholders concerning the government’s regulatory approach to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. The responses to the consultation paper are being accepted until March 21.

So far, the U.K. has been taking a cautious approach to investing in crypto assets. On Jan. 6, the country’s chief financial regulatory authority banned the sale of derivatives and exchange-traded notes, saying it considers the products to be ill-suited for retail consumers due to the potential harm they pose.