The upper house of the UK’s House of Lords has passed a bill that paves the way for the regulation of crypto and stablecoins in the country.
The Financial Services and Markets Bill (FSMB) was approved by parliamentarians, meaning that it will now move on to the next stage. Its initial version sought the regulation of stablecoins, but the bill will also include new sets of rules guiding crypto promotions.
Member of the House of Lords Baroness Joanna Penn emphasised on the bill’s aim of striking a balance by empowering regulators with more rulemaking powers while ensuring they remain accountable for their actions.
“This bill delivers the outcomes of the future regulatory framework review, giving the regulators significant new rulemaking responsibilities, whilst balancing that additional responsibility with clear accountability, appropriate democratic input, and transparent oversight,” she said.
According to the UK laws, the next and final stage is the “consideration of the amendment” stage. This stage allows for further scrutiny and refinement of the bill to ensure its alignment with the intentions of parliamentarians. After this is passed, the bill will proceed to receive royal assent, officially becoming law.
FSMB was first introduced to the parliament in July 2022 with the aim of tailoring financial services to the UK market following its exit from the European Union.
According to the government’s official website, the bill will help implement the outcomes of the Future Regulatory Framework (FRF) review and maintain its position as an open and global financial hub.
The UK’s path to becoming the next crypto hub
The approval of the FSMB is yet another action that reaffirms the UK’s commitment to harnessing the opportunities of innovative technologies – particularly crypto – in financial services.
APPG chair, Dr Lisa Cameron MP said: “Given the rapid growth of cryptocurrency and digital assets, the timing of this report is vital to protect consumers whilst ensuring the UK’s leadership in this sector can be realised.”
Companies in the space are already positioning themselves to be beneficiaries of the United Kingdom’s pro-crypto stance. One of such firms is leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z). They announced plans to set up their first international office in London in 2024.
The news was well received by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who expressed excitement about Andreessen Horowitz’s choice of location.
According to him, the move signifies a recognition of the UK’s potential to become a centre for Web3 technology and highlights the opportunities that lie ahead.