New UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: Crypto Believer or CBDC Backer? - OhNo WTF Crypto

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New UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: Crypto Believer or CBDC Backer?

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Rishi Sunak is all set to take over the role of the prime minister of the United Kingdom in a few days. Amidst dire economic headwinds, Sunak was voted into office after Liz Truss, who only served a record-breaking 45 days, announced her resignation as a result of a maelstrom of criticism over her failed fiscal policies.

Sunak, for one, is a proponent of the crypto industry and had previously championed regulation.

UK Crypto Regulation

During his stint as the Finance Minister, Sunak spearheaded the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which, if passed, aims to offer domestic regulators more power over the crypto industry by bringing stablecoins under the purview of payments regulations.

Sunak recommended the creation of additional regulations that would further advance the incorporation of crypto into the United Kingdom’s economic and legal framework, thus spurring greater investment in the space as well as adoption.

“The measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country,”

He also unveiled plans to transform the country into a crypto hub and assigned UK’s coin producer – the Royal Mint – to create a non-fungible token (NFT) collection, which was previously expected to be ready by summer but is yet to hit the market.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak. Source AP News

Pro-Central Bank Digital Currency

Needless to say, Sunak’s latest milestone will make him one of the world’s most significant leaders to publicly embrace the use of blockchain technology to transform financial markets.

It is worth noting that he had also voiced in favor of central bank digital currency for the country, or Britcoin, as he had dubbed it at the Bank of England last October. He then asserted that CBDC could “offer businesses and consumers new ways to pay.” Shortly thereafter, he announced a joint task force between the Treasury and central bank to study the workings of CBDCs as a complement to cash and bank deposits.

Many libertarian crypto backers, however, oppose the idea of a digitized version of legal tender and cite financial surveillance concerns. This has led several industry prognosticators to turn skeptical of the soon-to-be PM’s comments.

One such is Bitcoin investor Preston Pysh who tweeted,

“Where have you seen anywhere that this guy has uttered the word Bitcoin? A wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing is one who runs around saying “crypto” and talks about CBDCs. I’d argue potentially more dangerous than people who have no clue.”

Featured Image Courtesy of CNBC

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