UK regulation to accommodate stablecoins and CBDCs


  • The UK is set to make a regulation that will make it easy for stablecoins and CBDCs to coexist.
  • Embracing innovation and ensuring stability.

The United Kingdom is making significant strides towards establishing comprehensive regulations that accommodate the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Varun Paul, formerly of the Bank of England (BoE) and now a senior director at Fireblocks, underscores the importance of collaborative efforts among the UK’s Treasury, BoE, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to navigate this evolving landscape.

UK set to make strides with its crypto regulation

Previously, the FCA hesitated to regulate cryptocurrencies, fearing endorsement of an uncertain market. Consequently, the U.K. fell behind the EU in regulatory development. However, recent initiatives indicate a shift in approach. In October 2023, the UK Treasury unveiled proposals to regulate the sector, entrusting the FCA with authorizing companies engaged in cryptocurrency-related activities.

Paul emphasizes the need for the UK to catch up with the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), considered the global benchmark in regulatory frameworks. Despite initial reluctance, the U.K. is now actively pursuing a regulatory environment conducive to both innovation and financial stability.

Unlike the EU, the UK’s single regulatory authority structure facilitates quicker regulatory development. The regulatory approach in the UK aims to strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring financial stability. Paul suggests that collaboration among the Treasury, BoE, and FCA has facilitated the formulation of comprehensive rules governing stablecoins, tokenized deposits, and CBDCs.

Stablecoins, particularly those pegged to major currencies like the U.S. dollar, play a vital role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, serving as a gateway for broader participation. However, concerns persist regarding the transparency of reserves backing stablecoins like Tether. The U.K. regulatory regime insists on stablecoins being redeemable at par and backed by liquid assets, aligning with the BoE’s stance on stability.

Embracing innovation and ensuring stability

While acknowledging the demand for cryptocurrencies and digital assets, policymakers prioritize safety and trustworthiness. They aim to encourage the adoption of digital assets backed by national currencies, rather than relying solely on stablecoins like USDT. This approach reflects a broader trend toward exploring digital alternatives to traditional fiat currencies.

Paul’s white paper for Fireblocks explores the potential of a smart contract-managed system allowing central banks to issue CBDCs as base assets for tokenized deposits and stablecoins. This system aims to ensure uniformity and consistency in the country’s monetary landscape.

The choice between stablecoins and CBDCs will ultimately depend on specific use cases and user preferences, with different demographic groups likely to favor different forms of digital currency. The U.K. government is actively engaged in shaping legislation to regulate stablecoins and cryptocurrency staking by the end of 2024. This regulatory effort underscores the government’s commitment to fostering a safe and vibrant digital asset ecosystem while safeguarding investor interests and financial stability.

The U.K. is striving to establish a regulatory framework that supports the coexistence of cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and CBDCs. Collaborative efforts among regulatory authorities and proactive policymaking reflect the government’s recognition of the growing importance of digital assets in the global financial landscape. By striking a balance between innovation and stability, the U.K. aims to position itself as a leading hub for fintech innovation and digital finance.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Owotunse Adebayo

Adebayo loves to keep tab of exciting projects in the blockchain space. He is a seasoned writer who has written tons of articles about cryptocurrencies and blockchain.

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