- Chair Lisa Cameron MP says we are at a crucial time for regulation of the sector. ● MPs say that consumer protection will be a key priority for the new group. ● Adoption of crypto is increasing but awareness of risks for consumers remains low.
A new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Crypto and Digital Assets Group has been launched by a cross party group of MPs and Lords in the UK Parliament.
The group will act as a forum for parliamentarians, policymakers and the UK crypto sector to discuss policy and regulation of the industry. It will also look to address key challenges for the sector including creating a regulatory framework that supports innovation and growth of the sector but will also discuss wider issues such as consumer protection and economic crime.
The new group will explore a range of issues from protecting customers from fraud and scams, advertising, financial education and inclusion, the UK’s role as a leader in financial services and innovation, environmental issues and the future of digital payments.
The cross party group is made up of MPs and Lords from across the main political parties and represents a broad range of interests and expertise in financial services, digital and technology.
The group intends to investigate the state of the UK crypto sector and recent concerns raised around financial crime and advertising. It will consider the growth of crypto over recent years and the need for regulators and Government to keep pace with the rapid advancements and increased adoption of crypto by consumers. The group will look at international examples from other jurisdictions that have already taken steps to regulate the crypto sector.
Lisa Cameron MP, Chair of the Crypto and Digital Assets APPG, said:
“The UK Crypto sector has seen increased interest from consumers and regulators as the number of people who now own some form of cryptocurrency or digital asset has grown in recent years. We are at a crucial time for the sector as global policy makers are also now reviewing their approach to crypto and how it should be regulated.
We must ensure that we have an appropriate regulatory framework in the UK which supports innovation and guarantees that the UK remains an attractive destination for innovative firms to set up and grow. It is equally vital that we have a clear regime to protect consumers, ensuring they understand the risks, and are protected from the risk of economic harm posed by fraud and scams.
Looking at how we can best protect consumers must be a top priority for Government and regulators. There must be clear rules for the advertising of cryptoassets in the UK so customers are protected and to help UK crypto firms to stay within the rules.
We also want to see clarity of regulation particularly in terms of money laundering protections. We will be looking at the work of the FCA in registering UK crypto firms so that customers are clear about which firms are regulated and which aren’t but which also gives UK firms business certainty.”
CryptoUK, the UK’s independent trade association which represents over 100 members from across the crypto sector, and also provides the secretariat for the new APPG, welcomed the creation of the new group.
Ian Taylor, Executive Director of CryptoUK, said:
“We are delighted to see MPs and Lords in Westminster taking an interest in UK Crypto. The UK crypto sector has the potential to transform the UK’s financial services industry. UK Crypto firms want to see a clear regulatory framework in the UK that supports growth and innovation in this space but that also encourages a strong and healthy UK market and promotes consumer protection.
We have witnessed a surge in retail and institutional adoption of digital assets, both here in the UK and around the world. Consumer attitudes towards cryptocurrencies have shifted since the start of the pandemic with 78% of adults saying they have heard of cryptocurrency and 2.3 million UK adults now owning some form of cryptocurrency with more people now seeing them as an alternative to mainstream investments.”