The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the UK’s crypto and digital assets sector is seeking industry input for its latest inquiry into the UK’s growing crypto asset industry.
The inquiry is set to focus on a range of key areas including the UK’s current approach to regulation of crypto and digital assets alongside the Government’s plans to make the UK the global home of crypto investment.
The current approach of UK regulators including the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in relation to crypto and digital assets, the potential of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) and potential risks in terms of consumer protection and economic crime are all areas that are expected to be discussed.
The cross-party group, which is chaired by Dr Lisa Cameron, who is MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, is formed of MPs and Lords from across the main political parties and represents a broad range of interests and expertise in financial services, digital and technology.
The group acts as a forum for parliamentarians, policymakers and the UK crypto sector to discuss policy and regulation of the industry.
Speaking on the announcement of the inquiry, Cameron warns that the UK must not take its foot off the gas when it comes to crypto. “We are at a crucial time for the sector as global policy makers are also now reviewing their approach to crypto and how it should be regulated.”
As part of its inquiry, the APPG will investigate the state of the UK crypto sector and recent concerns raised around financial crime and advertising.
“It will consider the growth of crypto over recent years and the need for regulators and Government to keep pace with the rapid advancements in innovation and technology, as well as considering whether enough is being done in terms of consumer protection,” Cameron continues.
“The group will also look at international examples from other jurisdictions that have already taken steps to regulate the crypto sector.”
As part of its inquiry, the APPG is inviting views from across the sector and has said it wants to hear from crypto operators, regulators, industry experts and the Government on the need for regulation of the sector.
The inquiry is set to engage in a number of evidence sessions with key stakeholders over the coming months to produce a report of key recommendations to be shared with the Government and Treasury Select Committee in Parliament; which has also announced an upcoming inquiry into the sector.
The APPG inquiry comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the UK crypto and digital asset sector.
Back in April of this year, HM Treasury announced plans to make the UK the global home of crypto investment, seeking to attract crypto firms to the UK and to boost the UK’s technology and fintech sector, creating jobs and boosting skills and talent.
Research from HMRC in July 2022 also showed that 10 per cent of UK adults currently hold or have held a cryptoasset, a figure that has risen from the 5.7 per cent recorded in January 2021 by the FCA.
CryptoUK, the UK’s independent trade association which represents over 100 members from across the crypto sector, and also provides the secretariat for the APPG, welcomed the launch of the inquiry.
“We welcome the announcement of the APPG inquiry and are pleased that policymakers are waking up to the huge potential for the UK in terms of economic growth, jobs and skills from a properly regulated crypto and digital asset sector,” comments Ian Taylor, executive director of CryptoUK.
“The Government has said it wants the UK to be the global home for crypto investment and the focus now must be on how the UK can deliver on this commitment.
“The UK crypto sector recognises the importance of a well-regulated industry in the UK and supports regulation which provides business certainty and encourages a healthy and robust market. We want to see a proportionate approach to regulation that balances the need for consumer protection with the need to support innovation and growth.”
The APPG is inviting written submissions from interested parties until 5 September 2022.