Rishi Sunak, a former investment banker who is now a shrewd politician, has had an extraordinarily successful career. At the age of 42, he has already held the chancellor of the exchequer, chief secretary to the treasury, and member of the British Parliament. Now, he is beginning his term as prime minister.
What's so different now?
As the U.K.'s youngest prime minister to enter office. Sunak has another trait with his millennial counterparts that they haven't shared in more than 200 years: a passion for cryptocurrencies. Compared to their older counterparts, younger investors are opting to dedicate a considerably higher percentage of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies, according to a recent Bank of America poll (1). Additionally, people between the ages of 21 and 42 invest an average of 15% of their portfolios in cryptocurrencies, compared to the 2% invested by those over 42. They are "more inclined to feel crypto provides the best growth potential."
Of course, Sunak's willingness to share his fondness for cryptocurrency sets him apart from other people. Unlike many of his contemporaries, he can truly advance the industry in new, interesting ways; he has the power to introduce laws, make rules, and advance fresh concepts. He can facilitate the transition from Web2 to Web3, which will largely be based on technologies like cryptocurrencies but also include nonfungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain, artificial intelligence, and the emergence of the metaverse, among others. He acknowledged that this is not mere conjecture.
As chancellor of the exchequer, Sunak stated he desires to make the U.K. a global powerhouse for crypto-asset technology, emphasizing the requirement to guarantee enterprises can invest, innovate, and scale up in this nation (2). The Stanford alumnus pushed through several cryptocurrency-related projects while serving as finance minister under former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as part of a larger plan to normalize and advance the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the country.
To keep the nation current or, in Sunak's words, "ensure the U.K. financial services industry is constantly at the forefront of technology and innovation," he declared in 2020 his desire to emphasize financial technology, such as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins.
What steps will the new Prime minister take?
He recognized the need for ground-breaking changes in 2021 "to assist the safe adoption of crypto assets and stablecoins" and even suggested that the Bank of England consider the creation of a CBDC. this spring, sponsored legislation to "have stablecoins recognized as a genuine form of payment in the U.K." and directed the Royal Mint to develop a government-backed NFT to highlight the 1,136-year-old institution's "forward-looking attitude." Additionally, and probably more crucially, he contributed to the creation of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which the nation advanced this month.
The proposed bill, which calls for "a range of measures to maintain and enhance the U.K.'s position as a global leader in financial services," is an important first step toward a greater understanding of blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. It would also enable further advancement of these technologies and strengthen their hold. Crypto regulation would be good, if not even safe, bet if we were to hazard a guess as to what the prime minister's initial actions would like over the upcoming months.
We can offer the firms of the future the confidence they need to plan and make long-term investments by properly regulating, Sunak added. Following closely behind the White House's publication (3) of the "first-ever comprehensive framework for the responsible development of digital assets" and the European Parliament Committee's final approval of the Markets in Crypto-Assets framework text would be a positive sign for the industry as a whole. By 2023, the global crypto scene may have completely changed, becoming more developed, regulated, pervasive, and broad. That can only ever be advantageous.