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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

UK crypto bill reaches final stage, on track for passage

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A bill bringing cryptocurrencies under the same rules applied to traditional assets is set to pass into law in the United Kingdom as it reaches the final stages for King Charles’ royal assent on June 29, the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law.

Approved by the upper chamber of the U.K. parliament on June 19, the Financial Services and Markets Bill has been discussed in the British Parliament since July 2022 and is expected to increase legal clarity and support the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The new law will give the Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England and Payments Systems Regulator the power to introduce and enforce regulations for crypto businesses.

Related: London Stock Exchange Group may provide clearing services for BTC derivatives in Q4

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This legislation marks a significant milestone for the local crypto community. In a recent interview, the economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, Andrew Griffith, said the country wants to capitalize on the benefits that blockchain can bring to the private sector and economy, adding that the long-term vision is to “let firms make the most of the opportunities from crypto assets” under adequate crypto regulation.

The legislation could be a catalyst for attracting more crypto firms to the U.K. amid the tight regulatory environment around the world. Recently, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) announced its first new office outside of the United States in London, following a “productive dialogue” with the U.K. prime minister and “months of constructive conversations” with policymakers and the FCA. Chris Dixon, A16z’s crypto founder and managing partner, cited a “predictable business environment” as one of the main factors behind its decision to expand overseas.

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