The UK is now just weeks away from getting its most pro-crypto prime minister ever in all likelihood.
Following Boris Johnson’s resignation after a slew of resignations from his government, sexual assault allegations against conservative lawmaker Chris Pincher, and the fallout from ‘Partygate’, there are now only two candidates in the running to lead the Conservative party and, in turn, take over the keys to Number 10: Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.
While Johnson was seen to be generally in favour of a digital currency ecosystem, his time in office did not prove to be the dynamic boost those of us in the industry were hoping to see.
Despite the platitudes, since he took over, his administration action was limited to say the least. His cabinet was set to establish a regulatory system for stablecoins and the Treasury Committee of the House of Commons also opened an inquiry allowing UK residents to write in about the role of crypto assets in the country – but little else of substance was happening.
Maybe it was the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine, amongst other issues, that caused them to took their eye off the crypto ball. However, there’s now a real sense in the cryptoverse that there could be more momentum, whoever wins the leadership contest on 5 September.
In particular, Rishi Sunak is seen to be very pro-crypto. As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he previously said the UK government would prioritise fintech, including central bank digital currencies and stablecoins, aiming for the country to keep pace with innovation by outlining a framework “to make Britain a global hub for crypto asset technology and investment.”
He has also been behind many proposed financial services reforms to encourage the mass adoption of crypto in the country.
Meanwhile, Truss, who is the Foreign Secretary since 2021 and Minister for Women and Equalities since 2019, serving under three prime ministers, has urged an anti-regulatory approach to crypto in an effort for the UK to embrace the technology.
In her position as Secretary of State for International Trade, she launched a digital trade network in 2020 whose measures included promoting fintech firms that “enabled digitisation and resilience in priority export markets.”
To my mind, in both cases, this all sounds as though they are prepared to be more proactive to truly ramp-up the crypto sector in Britain.
Should Britain, which has the world’s fifth largest economy, fully realise its already established enormous potential to become a globally leading crypto hub, other countries’ governments would be triggered to actively compete. And this would be the ultimate legitimacy, credibility and the rocket that truly sends the crypto sector to the moon.