The Treasury Department of the United Kingdom has revealed that it is drafting proposals to regulate private stablecoins while researching central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as an alternative to cash.
It has been reported that Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of Treasury, noted the upcoming regulatory proposals alongside other goals for the country’s financial services industry, including a review of the UK’s listings regime and support for green finance.
“New technologies such as stablecoins — privately-issued digital currencies — could transform the way people store and exchange their money, making payments cheaper and faster.”
However, the news comes amidst a week of decisive negotiations between the UK and the European Union over a post-Brexit trade deal.
Sunak said he hopes that the UK’s financial services sector will lead “the global conversation on new technologies like stablecoins and central bank digital currencies” moving forward.
He further added:
“We are starting a new chapter in the history of financial services and renewing the UK’s position as the world’s pre-eminent financial center. […] Our plans will ensure the UK moves forward as an open, attractive and well-regulated market.”
Likewise, the report stated that the draft guidelines will require stablecoin initiatives to abide by the same minimum standards as entities operating with other methods of payment, while details are limited.
The United Kingdom is preparing to embrace stablecoins and is researching a CBDC as it looks to its fintech future post-Brexit. https://t.co/cRzR9ioKHz — Cointelegraph (@Cointelegraph) November 10, 2020
The document also reveals that both England’s central bank and treasury are currently researching a CBDC, with the chancellor welcoming work from the two departments into “whether and how central banks can issue their own digital currencies as a complement to cash.”
Thus, the UK Treasury’s Chancellor appears to have made a much more level-headed assessment of the burgeoning stablecoin sector by noting that stable token initiatives will face the same oversight as existing payments firms.
We’ll publish a consultation to ensure new privately-issued currencies, stablecoins, meet the high standards we expect of other payment methods. And the @bankofengland & Treasury are considering if central banks can issue their own digital currencies, as a complement to cash. pic.twitter.com/k5hbVT8R5X — Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) November 9, 2020