The UK is a hot mess right now. The country is facing roughly 10% inflation, it’s had 3 Prime Ministers in 7 weeks, and as winter creeps in the country is under threat of losing Russian gas for heating. It’s not the best of times, but in the crypto world there’s some optimism about the new administration’s stance on cryptocurrencies.
The new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is on the younger side for the position. He’s 42 years old, and definitely more tech savvy than his contemporary heads of state. Months ago, when Sunak was still the Head of the Treasury, he made a statement saying “It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for crypto asset technology.” A later press release expanded on that statement, “the government can ensure financial stability and high regulatory standards so that these new technologies can ultimately be used both reliably and safely.”
This week, UK Lawmakers voted to include cryptocurrency in the scope of a financial regulatory bill, which was already going to oversee stablecoins. While regulation may not sound very exciting, in essence what this signals is that the UK is willing to engage with cryptocurrency seriously in some ways. The US SEC still refuses to allow a Bitcoin spot ETF (essentially an ETF directly holding the underlying asset). While the UK doesn’t have this offering either, I would expect to see one soon after these regulatory frameworks come into place. Meanwhile, the US has no direct line of sight to a spot ETF.
Crypto markets responded pretty well to the combination of these things, with BTC seeing a bump into the $20k range.