The UK’s Financial Services and Markets Bill (a proposed legislation that touches upon traditional monetary services and cryptocurrencies) has moved forward after the Parliament’s upper chamber – the House of Lords – gave its nod.
It will now enter into final reading, where the House of Commons is authorized to make amendments. The legislation can go back and forth before the two chambers of the Parliament reach a full agreement.
Most House of Lords members voted in favor of the bill that aims to establish standards in the cryptocurrency sector and regulate the usage of stablecoins. The legislation, introduced to the Parliament last summer, initially sought to stabilize Britain’s financial condition after leaving the European Union (a process known as “Brexit”).
At a later stage, though, the authorities revealed their intentions to regulate stablecoins with it, proposing to put them under the nation’s payments rules. Shortly after, they insisted all digital currencies should comply with existing laws.
The approval from the House of Lords means the bill will now enter its final stage: Consideration of Amendments and Royal Assent. This is the final reading where both chambers of the Parliament can discuss any changes. Once they shake hands on a final agreement, the decree will need a signature from King Charles III to become official.
It is worth mentioning that the last time a British monarch rejected legislation passed by the House of Commons and the House of Lords was in 1708. Back then, Queen withheld royal assent on the Scottish Militia Bill after her ministers advised her that such a unit would not be loyal to the crown.
Some lawmakers believe the Financial Services and Markets Bill could see the light of day in the following months. One example is Andrew Griffith – economic secretary to the UK Treasury and Member of Parliament – who thinks the UK will have imposed appropriate rules on the crypto industry by April 2024.
The Crypto Hub Ambitions
The United Kingdom has outlined its plans to become a global cryptocurrency center, taking numerous initiatives towards that goal. Coinbase’s CEO – Brian Armstrong – praised the country’s attitude, maintaining that the domestic authorities have realized the sector’s potential and are willing to implement comprehensive rules in it.
Andreessen Horowitz – a venture capital giant that is an active investor in crypto and Web3 – also believes the UK can emerge as a digital asset hub. As such, recently opened an office in London (its first outside the United States). The firm also plans to launch a crypto startup school in the UK to look for and support talented individuals in the crypto space.
Another factor that could help Britain reach its goal might be its Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. He said in 2022 (while serving as Finance Minister) that his ambition is to make the nation a “global hub for crypto asset technology.”