U.K. To Mint Its Own NFTs, In an Effort To Become “World Leader” In Crypto

Queen Elizabeth II - Mathew Browne via Unsplash
Queen Elizabeth II - Mathew Browne via Unsplash

The U.K. government on Monday announced plans to mint its own NFTs (non-fungible tokens), in its effort to turn into a “world leader” in the cryptocurrency space. 

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint — the government-owned company responsible for minting coins for the U.K. — to create and issue the NFT “by the summer,” City Minister John Glen said at a fintech event in London. “There will be more details available very soon,” he added.

The decision is a part of the effort made by the government to “lead the way” in crypto, according to Glen. The minister shared a number of steps that the country will follow to regulate digital assets: 

  • Bring certain stablecoins into the U.K. payments framework so that stablecoin issuers and service providers can “operate and grow in the U.K.”
  • Consult on a “world-leading regime” for regulating trade in other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.
  • Ask the Law Commission to consider the legal status of blockchain-based communities known as decentralized autonomous organizations, or DAOs.
  • Examine the tax treatment of decentralized finance (DeFi) loans and “staking,” which gives crypto users the ability to earn interest on their savings.
  • Establish a Cryptoasset Engagement Group that will be chaired by ministers and host members from U.K. regulators and crypto businesses.
  • Explore the application of blockchain technology in issuing debt instruments.

“We shouldn’t be thinking of regulation as a static, rigid thing,” Glen said. “Instead, we should be thinking in terms of regulatory ‘code’ — like computer code — which we refine and rewrite when we need to.”