At the podium of the Innovate Finance Global Summit, a meeting dedicated to FinTech across the Channel, the Economic Secretary to the British Treasury, John Glen, announced on April 4 the creation of a non-fungible token (NFT) . Very few details were given on this project, which looks more like a publicity stunt than anything else.
An altogether anecdotal NFT
So far, Ukraine has been the only country to launch its own NFTs. A decision taken under the very particular conditions of the war with Russia, in order to raise funds to support the army and the population. Naturally, on the British side, the motivation is quite different.
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John Glen explained, on behalf of Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Minister for Finance and the Treasury of the United Kingdom, to have ” asked the Royal Mint to create a non-fungible token “. The Royal Mint is the equivalent of the Monnaie de Paris, it strikes commemorative coins, medals and coins in general.
The nature of the Royal Mint’s NFT remains shrouded in mystery. Will there be several, intended for collectors of digital assets and other numismatists 2.0? Or will it take the form of a unique token, treasured by the British crown? John Glen has promised more details soon and the NFT show is expected by summer 2022.
One thing is certain, the NFT hides a forest. It is the symbolic representation of London’s desire to remain one of the most important financial centers in the world by remaining at the cutting edge of technology. John Glen, who has responsibility for the City in his portfolio, said ” There is a real opportunity to build on our strengths in FinTech to seize the capitalist energy, which has already made UK financial services what they are, and use it to unlock the potential of crypto technologies. “.
— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) April 4, 2022
UK Says Yes to Crypto-Assets… Provided They Are Regulated
London has given mixed signals on cryptocurrencies. The Financial Conduit Authority, in charge of financial regulation, refused to register many cryptocurrency companies, forcing some to leave the territory.
During his speech, behind the big sentences, John Glen especially insisted on the regulation of this market. The regulation of Bitcoin-type cryptocurrencies, the study of the legal status of blockchain-based communities (decentralized autonomous organizations), decentralized finance loans (DeFi)… However, he tried to immediately defuse, “ We shouldn’t think of regulation as something static and rigid. Instead, we should think in terms of regulatory “code” – like computer code – which we refine and rewrite when we need to. “.
He also gave some pledges, an opening towards stablecoins, cryptocurrencies backed by “classic” currencies, the exploration of a use of the blockchain to issue debt securities… John Glen admitted it, making the Kingdom United a crypto-friendly country,” won’t happen overnight “, but the objective is given: the country wishes to become ” a welcoming place for crypto “. The Royal Mint’s NFT will allow us to wait until then.
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The UK Treasury is working on its own NFT
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