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Johnson’s Political Woes Inadvertently Set Back U.K. Crypto Regulation


Key Takeaways

  • U.K. Ministers Rishi Sunak and John Glen’s resignations in the last couple days are likely to slow down the nation’s efforts to turn itself into a crypto-friendly jurisdiction.
  • Glen in particular was considered a vital bridge between industry leaders and regulators; his replacement is expected to need considerable time to get up to date with the situation.
  • Their resignations come following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s public mishandling of a sexual misconduct scandal involving the government’s former Deputy Chief Whip.

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest scandal has inadvertently deprived the United Kingdom’s government of two of its foremost crypto experts, Rishi Sunak and John Glen. The crypto industry now expects regulations to take longer to implement.

U.K. “Back to Square One”

The United Kingdom’s crypto industry may have suffered a setback due to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest political troubles.

According to Bloomberg, the recent resignations of Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen will put the brakes on the country’s recent push to become a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. Sunak and Glen are considered the “architects” of the campaign that aimed to attract crypto companies to the nation.

Commenting on the resignations, CryptoUK executive director Ian Taylor said the industry was now “back to square one” and that anticipated regulations would now likely take longer to introduce, considering Sunak and Glen’s replacements would need time to learn “what [they]’re doing.”

Glen in particular was considered vital in bridging the gap between the crypto industry and regulators, not just in the U.K. but across the world. His visits to various crypto hubs over the last year provided him and Sunak with crucial experience in digital assets, according to one independent fintech consultant who expects the former minister’s shoes will be hard to fill.

Sunak and Glen respectively resigned yesterday and today in protest over Johnson’s public mishandling of a sexual misconduct scandal involving former Deputy Chief Whip Chris Pincher. More than 30 members of the government have quit alongside them. Johnson is facing calls to resign.

Institutions in the U.K. currently do not see eye to eye with regard to legislation. The Bank of England called in March for more market regulation while crypto companies were already reported to struggle with complying to the existing regulations. On the other hand, the Treasury, after receiving industry feedback, backtracked on its earlier requirement for crypto firms to submit personal information on all transfers made to unhosted wallets.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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