UK Chancellor’s “Global Crypto Hub” Claim Draws Skepticism

Jeremy Hunt’s claim that the UK leads the crypto world gets shut down.

Jeremy Hunt doing Standup comedy to the delight of the eaudience.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Jeremy Hunt stated that the UK’s crypto landscape leads the world.
  • Hunt’s statement triggered a barrage of pushback.
  • UK banks are a barrier to achieving crypto hub status.

HM Treasury outlined its ambitious plans to position the UK as a global crypto hub in April 2022, announcing a raft of pro-crypto measures, including legislating for stablecoins as a recognized payment method. However, in the nearly two years since then, little has moved, triggering a social media backlash following Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s claim that the UK has “become the global crypto hub.”

Global Crypto Hub Claims Challenged

Hunt’s claim that the UK has become the world’s leading crypto hub was the opening statement to a Parliamentary question on licensed crypto businesses facing difficulties opening UK bank accounts, ironically underscoring the lack of regulatory progress in developing the country as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction. 

However, despite Hunt’s initial optimistic claim, the Chancellor did follow up by acknowledging that the regulatory landscape has a long way to go before realizing HM Treasury’s grand vision of a crypto Britain.  

“To make sure that the market really can take off in the way that was intended, in a responsible way, we need to regulate it, which is why we introduced regulations for stablecoins, for promotion of crypto services,” remarked Hunt.

Multiple social media users, including business owner David Ghosh, challenged Hunt’s claim’s veracity. Freddie New, the head of policy at Bitcoin Policy UK, chimed in to deliver a stinging remark about the UK leading the world in the record numbers of crypto firms leaving the country due to the reality of an anti-crypto landscape.

Similarly, Arbitrum employee Patrick McCorry highlighted the nightmare of retail users dealing with the banking sector as they risk account closures and unwarranted harassment for simply off-ramping from crypto exchanges.

UK Banking Remains a Major Obstacle

Although Hunt may bang the drum of crypto hub progress, the reality is that the UK banking sector presents a significant challenge to HM Treasury’s grand vision. According to the investment website Investomania, 47% of major UK banks do not support cryptocurrency due to the inadequate security checks performed by crypto exchanges.

The situation facing crypto businesses is not much better. On December 18, challenger bank Revolut announced it was withdrawing the ability for business customers to buy cryptocurrency, citing “new requirements” handed down by the Financial Conduct Authority.

On the Flipside

  • The Financial Services and Markets Act, which recognizes crypto trading as a regulated financial activity in the UK, gained royal ascent in June.
  • The UK is currently working on updating legislation to ratify fiat-backed stablecoins as a recognized payment method.
  • Crypto policies enacted by Switzerland, Malta, and Singapore make those jurisdictions a more accurate shout for the leading global crypto hub title.

Why This Matters

There is a significant disconnect between political ambitions and reality when it comes to digital assets, suggesting that the UK is unable to compete with more forward-thinking jurisdictions or lacks the political will to realize HM Treasury’s ambitious crypto plans.

Find out more about the concerning lack of knowledge and engagement with cryptocurrencies among UK politicians here:
UK MPs Show Limited Engagement with Cryptocurrencies: Report

Discover Brian Armstrong’s reasoning for why spot BTC ETFs would be beneficial for Coinbase here:
Coinbase CEO Dismisses Fears of Revenue Hit from Bitcoin ETF

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Samuel Wan

Samuel Wan is a finance professional turned crypto journalist, known for his insightful reporting on market trends, regulatory changes, and technological developments within the digital asset industry. His ability to simplify complex concepts and report the facts has made him a trusted source in the crypto community. Beyond his writing, Samuel is an active mountain biker and gamer.