UK Promises New Laws to Promote, Seize Crypto

Prince Charles promised laws on economic crime and financial services as he introduced the government's legislative agenda at the formal opening of a new session of Parliament.

AccessTimeIconMay 10, 2022 at 1:13 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:07 p.m. UTC

The U.K. will introduce legislation this year to regulate the crypto industry and ensure the profits of ransomware can be seized by the authorities.

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, formally opened the new session of Parliament with the government's legislative program and announced a new financial services law to "cut red tape" in the sector in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union, alongside a long-awaited bill on fighting economic crime. The agenda, known as the Queen's Speech, is usually presented by the 96-year-old monarch, who was unable to participate due to "episodic mobility problems."

One new law aims at "supporting the safe adoption of cryptocurrencies," a government briefing published Tuesday alongside the speech said. A separate Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill will create "powers to more quickly and easily seize and recover crypto assets, which are the principal medium used for ransomware."

There will also be a civil forfeiture power for those who cannot be criminally prosecuted.

Financial services minister, John Glen, in April unveiled a suite of measures to issue a state-backed non-fungible token (NFT), regulate stablecoins and make the U.K. a crypto hub. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has also increased the pressure to tackle the flow of dirty money into the country.


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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.