Andrew Griffith, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, has confirmed that they have no intention of regulating digital assets as gambling. Digital assets here refer to cryptocurrencies, including, but not limited to, BTC and ETH. The statement comes in response to the Treasury Select Committee expressing its intentions of getting unbacked cryptocurrencies regulated as gambling.
An argument from their side placed on the table was that cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value that can be served in real life. Meaning cryptocurrencies don’t have any social value, and hence, they should be regulated only as gambling. Moreover, a report by the Select Committee revealed that digital assets were majorly being used by criminals to perform money laundering, helping them to hide the stolen funds and the transfers.
It does sound serious, but if cryptocurrencies are regulated as gambling, then it would actually take away the power of relevant authorities to monitor the space. Andrew has stated that treating them like gambling would make it impossible for regulators to prevent the commingling of funds while also restricting their ability to oversee potential risks like financial risk management & market manipulation.
The Treasury has firmly disagreed with the notion of categorizing them as gambling.
Andrew has stated that it would risk creating misalignment with standards and approaches set by international bodies, including the European Union. It would further lead to mandates that will be unclear and overlap between the Gambling Commission and financial regulators.
The Treasury has assured that it will work with relevant regulators and authorities to make sure that crypto ventures are fully aware of the standards that are required for them to gain approval in the UK. The Treasury Select Committee, meanwhile, continues to bring to everyone’s notice that cryptocurrencies consume a lot of energy without giving anything substantial.
Having said that, BTC and ETH are both trailing below the mark that the community considers standard. BTC is at $29,191.70, and ETH is exchanging hands at $1,851.99 at the time of articulating this piece. BTC was teased to stay above the mark of $30k, while ETH was estimated to cross the $2k mark at the beginning of the second half of 2023. That recovery is sinking, and it is sinking almost every day.
BTC slipped by 0.11% in the last 24 hours. ETH is witnessing a downfall of 0.28% every 24 hours.
The current statements by the Treasury may not have a huge impact on the trading prices of BTC or ETH, or any other crypto for that matter, but they do instill a sense of confidence among the residents of the UK that they can trade crypto once regulators signal the green light. Taking away the shady tag of gambling could actually help the UK see a decent rise in its economic activities. Obviously, to say, ministers have to play their cards right to get the desired results in the volatile market.