Dr Lisa Cameron, Chair of the Crypto and Digital Assets APPG and MP, Highlights the Potential of the UK’s Digital Assets Industry at CryptoUK and Crypto Council for Innovation’s Parliamentary Reception
  • Natalie Hall
  • 3 May, 2024

Delivered at the Terrace Pavilion, Houses of Parliament on Tuesday 30 April

 

Good evening everyone,

As chair of the Crypto and Digital Assets All Party Parliamentary Group, I am delighted to welcome you all to Westminster.

It’s wonderful to see so many of you here with us this evening from right across the crypto, digital assets and payments industry marking 2 years since the UK first announced its vision for the UK to become a global crypto and digital asset hub.

I would like to say a big thank you to our APPG secretariat CryptoUK for organising and sponsoring this event this evening and for their ongoing support. As the UK’s leading trade body, CryptoUK’s work is vital in helping policymakers better understand the complex world of cryptocurrency and digital assets and to ensure that the voice of the industry is heard.

I would also like to thank the Crypto Council for Innovation for jointly sponsoring this reception and to the Payments Association and the Digital Pound Foundation for supporting this evening’s event.

As Chair of the APPG for the past two years I have observed in this short space of time the rapid growth of new emerging technologies like crypto, digital assets, blockchain, web 3 and AI and the vast opportunities this presents.

There is a huge opportunity for crypto and digital assets to be a force for good, whether that’s transforming the way we deal with money and make payments, or through financial inclusion and providing access to finance for minority groups and entrepreneurs.

The rapid growth of these new and emerging technologies also presents huge potential for the UK in terms of economic growth, jobs and skills. We already have some fantastic examples of innovative crypto and digital asset companies in the UK – not just in London, but right across the country – many of you represented here tonight – all creating jobs and development opportunities for people in highly skilled roles.

Since the Government set out its landmark vision 2 years ago for the UK to become a global hub for cryptocurrency, we have made good progress towards making this vision a reality but there is still more work to be done to make the UK a truly global hub.

We need to continue to move quickly to provide regulatory clarity for industry whilst ensuring a balanced, proportionate and joined up approach to regulation.

I am reassured by the commitment given by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Bim Afolami MP earlier this month that the Government intends to issue new legislation for stablecoins as well as crypto by June or July of this year. It is important that we get this legislation over the line before a possible General Election this year to give industry the certainty it needs to invest in the UK.

The UK is still facing fierce competition from other countries who are also seeking to capitalise on the growth of this new industry. The UK must ensure that it continues to move quickly and keep pace with other jurisdictions and sends a clear message to business and investors that the UK is open for crypto businesses.

Whilst it has been two years since the Government set out its vision, we still have less than 50 firms that have been licensed to operate here in the UK. We need to move faster and ensure that UK regulators have sufficient resources, skills and technical understanding to be able to deliver on the Government’s vision.

We also need to ensure that firms that want to invest in the UK have the necessary infrastructure in place and access to the fundamental services they need to operate.

Just last week I met with the Economic Secretary to the Treasury Bim Afolami MP to discuss the importance of ensuring that firms have access to basic banking services in the UK which is something that has been raised with me on numerous occasions. Clearly this is just one example that could be a significant barrier to growth and innovation and could fundamentally undermine our ability to realise the Government’s vision.

I was also in Paris last week to meet with industry there and to learn about the EU’s approach to regulation – something I hope we can learn from and help to inform the UK’s own approach to regulation.

I want to see the UK leading the way in crypto regulation and to shape its own regulatory approach to cryptoassets – to attract inward investment, support growth in the sector and champion high regulatory standards.

Central to all of this will be the need for collaboration and engagement. This is important because when we talk about what the future of crypto regulation might look like it’s imperative that we all work together in the same direction to ensure that we get this right. That means Government, central banks, regulators, policymakers and industry all working together with the same goal of developing a regulatory framework that is fit for purpose.

The APPG, and we as policymakers, rely on you sharing your views and expertise, to help inform the debate about the future regulation of the sector, and to ensure that we deliver regulation and policy that works.

So I want to close by thanking you all again for joining us here today, and please continue to engage with us here in Parliament and the APPG as we continue our work in this space.

I look forward to hopefully working with you all through the APPG as we work together to develop a fit and proper regulatory approach for crypto and digital assets in the UK.

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