Prince Charles spoke on behalf of the Queen of England (citing health reasons) in the House of Lords last week, outlining his government’s legislative priorities and listing the measures he intends to present to members of parliament.
One of the highlights was on crypto during the Queen’s annual address to the British Parliament, as the country’s crypto sector prepares for significant legislation in the coming months.
The speech covered 38 bills that ministers anticipate will become law before the start of next year, ranging from justice and security to education, health and infrastructure.
Stablecoins on the radar
Cryptocurrencies and stablecoins have been in the UK’s sights.
In January last year, Her Majesty’s Treasury launched a consultation on the UK’s proposed approach to crypto assets and stablecoins, including a proposal to bring stablecoins under the Kingdom’s regulatory jurisdiction.
Despite this week’s crypto market disaster, Her Majesty’s Treasury is pressing ahead with similar ideas days after the Queen’s speech.
Queen Elizabeth normally delivers the Queen's Speech, but Prince Charles did so on this occasion due to health concerns. (Yahoo News)
Last month, John Glen, the Treasury’s economic secretary, declared that the British government would implement “a world-leading regulatory regime for stablecoins.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak stated that the government will “ensure the UK financial services industry remains at the forefront of technology and innovation”.
UK Unfazed by Crypto Market Chaos
The two officials’ proposals come at a time when crypto markets are in disarray after TerraUSD, an “algorithmic” stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, plunged below $1 this week, triggering a sell-off. massive in other cryptocurrencies.
Last week, the total value of all cryptocurrencies fell by more than $300 billion and the market hit its lowest point in almost a year.
Terra’s value was pegged to a separate currency called LUNA, and software was used to maintain its price. Last week, when faith in the system collapsed, its price plummeted.
The total value of all cryptocurrencies has dropped by about $300 billion in the last week. (Yahoo News)
As this unfolded, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urged Congress to pass federal regulation of stablecoins.
Meanwhile, a UK Treasury representative revealed that legislation to regulate stablecoins, when used as a means of payment, will be included in the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which was unveiled at the Your Majesty.
Proponents claim that stablecoins will make payments more efficient and secure while reducing transaction fees, such as those for cross-border transactions.
Crypto total market cap at $1.26 trillion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com
Bill to curb the illicit use of cryptography
The bill also appears to seek to “combat” the illegal use of cryptocurrencies.
According to Prince Charles:
“A measure will be introduced to significantly strengthen authorities to curb illegal financing, minimize economic crime and support business growth. Steps will be taken to help the security services protect the UK.”
The UK government has also confirmed that it will hold consultation later this year on regulating a broader set of crypto activities, including cryptocurrency trading with Bitcoin and Ether.
As part of its efforts to become a “world leader” in the cryptocurrency industry, the government last week declared its intention to create its own non-fungible token (NFT).
In his remarks at a fintech event in London, Glen said Sunak has asked the Royal Mint, the government institution responsible for minting UK coins, to develop and issue the NFT “before the summer.”
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Featured image from Daily Express, chart from TradingView.com