UK Has No Plans for 'Crypto Tsar' Proposed by Some Lawmakers, Minister Says

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith reiterated the government's position that crypto should not be treated like gambling at a Tuesday debate.

AccessTimeIconJun 13, 2023 at 11:41 a.m. UTC
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Andrew Griffith, economic secretary to the U.K. Treasury, told lawmakers that the government had no plans to appoint a 'crypto tsar' during a Tuesday debate.

The debate was hosted by the cross-party Crypto and Digital Assets All Parliamentary Group (APPG), which published a report earlier in June asking the government to appoint an official to exclusively oversee crypto regulation. The U.K. Treasury had earlier proposed crypto should be regulated as financial services, with a bill to that effect now moving through Parliament.

"The government has no plans for a particular crypto tsar but I undertake to champion the sector quite rightly, in my role as the economic secretary and [as someone] responsible for financial regulation in the U.K.,” Griffith said. He has said he wants the country to be a crypto hub in the past.

Griffith also reiterated the government's view to regulate crypto as financial services after lawmakers in the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee proposed crypto should instead be regulated like gambling.

“There have been some suggestions by fellow parliamentarians that crypto assets are more akin to gambling I refute that, that is not the government's position," Griffith said. "The right regulator[s] [are] the financial regulators with their deep expertise and understanding of issues like how to ensure markets are fair, how to protect consumers.”

Griffith also said he was "thrilled" that venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) had chosen London as the site for its first office outside the U.S.

"I hope that they blaze a trail that many others follow," Griffith said.

Edited by Sandali Handagama.


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Camomile Shumba

Camomile Shumba is a CoinDesk regulatory reporter based in the UK. She previously worked as an intern for Business Insider and Bloomberg News. She does not currently hold value in any digital currencies or projects.

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