Lobby group says UK must speed up crypto rules to win business

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Britain must speed up protections for cryptoassets that are exposing retail consumers to volatile markets, according to TheCityUK, a lobby group for the UK finance industry.

Firms marketing crypto to consumers need to be authorized and regulated, the group said in a report on Monday, noting that nearly 10 million people in Britain owned digital assets this year, up 558 percent from 2018. A nimble and nuanced response will help attract more of the companies and transactions involved in the nascent asset class to London.

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“Government and regulators have an important part to play, Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer of TheCityUK,” said in a statement. “They must set safe and robust rules for this burgeoning sector -- while ensuring they don’t inadvertently squash good ideas before they can mature and flourish.”

The group said the UK’s presidency of the G-7 group of countries this year gives it the platform to lead oversight of crypto and encourage coordination with other countries.

The UK needs to act quickly because “there are some market perceptions that the UK is beginning to trail by comparison to other countries’ regulatory frameworks, the group said in the report. “Clarity on the regulation of cryptoassets and related services such as issuance, trading and safekeeping will determine firms’ appetites to use the UK to launch innovative products and services.”

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