The UK government plans to mint its own NFTs. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint, the government-owned body that mints coins for the UK, to create an NFT by this summer.
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, in his speech on Monday at the Innovate Finance Global Summit during Fintech Week 2022 said,
“I am announcing today that the Chancellor has asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token – an NFT… to be issued by the Summer, an emblem of the forward-looking approach we are determined to take,”
“more details on the Royal Mint’s NFTs will be available very soon.”
No details were given of what image or object the NFT might represent, nor whether NFTs would be used to generate funds for the exchequer.
He also announced that Britain will be legislating to bring certain stablecoins into the payments framework, to create sustainable conditions for stablecoin issuers and service providers to operate and grow in the UK.
For the unversed, Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose values are tied to traditional currencies or to a commodity such as gold, to avoid the volatility that makes other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin impractical for most commerce.
“This will also enable consumers to use stablecoin payment services with confidence… and the government will introduce this legislation, as part of an ambition to deliver a world-leading regulatory regime for stablecoins,” he noted during his speech.
The Government is to introduce legislation for a ‘financial market infrastructure sandbox’ by 2023, enabling firms to explore the “potentially transformative benefits of distributed ledger technology”.
In addition, a two-day ‘Crypto Sprint’ led by the City watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), in May is to seek the financial services industry’s views on key issues relating to the development of a future cryptoasset regime and look at ways to improve the competitiveness of the UK’s tax system to encourage further development of the cryptoasset market.
Further, the UK government plans to create a taskforce to regulate crypto assets in the country.
“Treasury and regulators, through the Cryptoassets Taskforce, working together to create a dynamic regulatory landscape which works for everyone,” Glen added.
“We think that by making this country a hospitable place for crypto we can attract investment… generate swathes of new jobs… and create a wave of ground-breaking new products and services,”