UK Races to Set Crypto Regulations in Bid for Global Hub Status

The UK is set for a shakeup in its cryptocurrency approach, with laws targeting stablecoins, staking, trading and asset custody.

Hand holding up a picture of Big Ben, positioned with a digital mess of the London skyline.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • The UK has announced plans to introduce sweeping new regulations for cryptocurrency.
  • This legislation has targeted stablecoins, staking, trading, and asset custody.
  • The UK has adopted a cautious approach. Will it hinder its goal of becoming a crypto leader?

The United Kingdom is poised for a significant shift in its approach to cryptocurrency. The government has announced plans for sweeping new laws targeting the regulation of stablecoins, staking, trading, and asset custody within the crypto industry. 

This move comes amidst a global race to establish clear frameworks for digital assets, with the UK aiming to position itself as a major crypto hub. Economic Secretary Bim Afolami, speaking at the Innovate Finance Global Summit, confirmed the upcoming legislation

UK Rushes to Regulate Crypto Before Elections

This initiative will bring various crypto activities, such as exchange operations and customer asset management, under regulatory oversight for the first time. The urgency to establish these regulations stems from two key factors. 


Firstly, the legislation aims to provide a solidified framework before upcoming national elections, which could potentially see a change in government and a shift in policy direction. Secondly, the UK is keen to keep pace with the rapid advancements in the global crypto space.

While the UK government showcases its ambition to become a leader in crypto adoption, international developments seem to be outpacing them. The recent approval of Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the US allows American investors easier access to regulated Bitcoin investments, an option currently unavailable in the UK. 

This accessibility has propelled Bitcoin to record highs, further solidifying its perceived legitimacy in the financial landscape. UK investors, however, face a more restricted environment. 

FCA Approves Limited Investment Products

In 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned crypto-derivatives for retail investors, citing concerns over volatility and unclear valuation within the crypto market. This cautious approach has drawn criticism, with some arguing it restricts UK residents from participating in a dynamic and potentially lucrative investment sector.


Despite these restrictions, there are signs of a slight shift towards greater accessibility. The FCA recently approved the listing of crypto-linked exchange-traded notes (ETNs) for institutional investors, which indicates a willingness to explore controlled participation in the crypto market for sophisticated investors.

The UK’s hesitation to fully embrace cryptocurrency reflects a broader concern within its financial oversight entities regarding market volatility. Meanwhile, other major financial centers like the EU and Hong Kong are actively developing comprehensive crypto regulatory frameworks. 

Notably, Hong Kong introduced its first crypto futures ETFs in late 2023, and Australia saw the launch of its first spot Bitcoin ETFs earlier in 2022. The upcoming UK regulations will determine whether the country can bridge the gap with these global leaders and achieve its goal of becoming a leading crypto hub. 

On the Flipside

  • Strict regulations could limit the development and innovation within the UK’s domestic cryptocurrency industry.
  • Overly cautious regulations might restrict the types of crypto investment products available to UK investors.
  • Talented individuals and businesses in the crypto sector could relocate to jurisdictions with more favorable regulations.

Why This Matters

The UK’s regulatory approach will significantly impact how crypto businesses operate and how investors participate in the market. This legislation could either position the UK as a progressive crypto hub attracting investment and innovation or hinder its growth compared to other countries with more established frameworks.

This article discusses Coinbase’s efforts to increase crypto adoption in the UK and how this new feature allows UK users to purchase crypto using Apple Pay:
Coinbase Integrates Apple Pay for Crypto Purchases in the UK

Bitcoin ETFs are a hot topic in the UK, with industry leaders arguing that they would give investors an easier way to invest in Bitcoin. This article discusses whether the UK will allow them:
Bitcoin ETFs in the UK: Will British Investors Get Greenlight?

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.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.