The UK's Incoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is a Crypto Supporter

The UK’s Incoming Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is a Crypto Supporter

The new leader of the UK Rishi Sunak is good news for the crypto industry.

Sunak was chancellor of the exchequer, or head of the treasury, from early 2020 to July 5, when he resigned during a scandal that shook Boris Johnson’s government. During that time, Sunak repeatedly voiced his support for crypto. 

Speaking in April about proposed regulatory reform related to stablecoins, he said, “It’s my ambition to make the U.K. a global hub for crypto-asset technology, and the measures we’ve outlined […] will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country.”

“This is part of our plan to ensure the U.K. financial services industry is always at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

Sunak has also spoken positively of central bank digital currency. In April, he commissioned the Royal Mint to issue a non-fungible token (NFT) by the end of the year “as an emblem of the forward-looking approach the UK is determined to take.”

Truss’ government had expressed a commitment to Sunak’s crypto plans but her resignation threatened to shake things up once again. The local crypto industry, which had been in communication with Sunak over crypto policy during his tenure as finance minister, stands to welcome his appointment as the leader of the government.

Following the announcement of Sunak’s appointment, Adam Jackson, director of policy at Innovate Finance, a U.K. tech industry body that also advocates for crypto, called the former finance minister a “champion of fintech.”

“It’s a positive for crypto and the general economy,” Ian Taylor, director of the industry lobby group CryptoUK, said.

Sunak is a Strong Crypto Supporter

Some of Sunak’s ambitions include turning stablecoins into a “recognized form of payment” in the UK while creating a “financial infrastructure sandbox” to help firms innovate in the sector. 

“We want to see the businesses of tomorrow—and the jobs they create—here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term,” said Sunak in April. 

Before politics, Sunak worked as a hedge fund manager at the investment bank Goldman Sachs in the U.S. Elected to parliament in 2015, he was later appointed as chancellor of the exchequer in 2020, right before the pandemic began. 

In October of last year, Sunak showed enthusiasm over possibly issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) at the Bank of England, which could “offer businesses and consumers new ways to pay.”

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