UK Treasury Committee opens inquiry into crypto industry

The Treasury Committee of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons has called on the public to submit evidence related to the role of crypto’s risks and opportunities.

In a Tuesday notice, the committee said it had opened an inquiry allowing people to write in about the role of crypto assets in the United Kingdom. The Treasury Committee said it would be exploring how the U.K. government, Financial Conduct Authority, or FCA, and Bank of England could balance regulation “to provide adequate protection for consumers and businesses without stifling innovation” as well how cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology could impact individuals, businesses, and financial institutions.

The British public has until Sept. 12 to submit evidence, which the committee may use in its report to parliament. Among the proffered questions included the opportunities and risks of a central bank digital currency from the Bank of England, what the U.K. government can learn from regulators and lawmakers addressing crypto in other countries, and the “environmental and resource intensity of using crypto-asset technology.”

“What impact could the use of crypto-assets have on social inclusion?” asked the committee. “Are the government and regulators suitably equipped to grasp the opportunities presented by crypto-assets, whilst at the same time mitigating against the risks? What opportunities and risks could the use of crypto-assets – including non-fungible tokens – pose for individuals, the economy, and the workings of both the public and private sectors?”

The inquiry followed the government on July 5 requesting the public weigh in on taxation related to decentralized finance through crypto loans and staking. On Tuesday, deputy governor for financial stability at the Bank of England Jon Cunliffe also called for regulators to ​​”get on with the job” of incorporating crypto and blockchain into existing frameworks.

Related: Enforcement and adoption: What do UK’s recent regulatory aims for crypto mean?

A scandal around soon-to-be-former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has shaken up leadership among financial lawmakers and regulators in the United Kingdom. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and economic secretary John Glen resigned in protest of the prime minister’s actions, but were later replaced with Nadhim Zahawi and Richard Fuller, respectively. Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission CEO Ashley Alder will also become the next chair of the FCA starting in January 2023.

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