UK Launches New Parliamentary Crypto Panel

The U.K. has upped its influence on the country’s cryptocurrency sector with the launch of a bipartisan group of lawmakers intent on regulating the budding digital currency market.

Dubbed the Crypto and Digital Assets Group, it includes members from Parliament as well as the House of Lords. Its mission is to craft new rules for the digital asset industry that support innovation, Lisa Cameron, a member of the Scottish National Party,told The Financial Times. 

“We are at a crucial time for the sector as global policymakers are also now reviewing their approach to crypto and how it should be regulated,” said Cameron, the group’s chairwoman and a member of Parliament.

More here: Lawmakers Urge London’s Public Transit to Ban Crypto Ads 

Proponents say that in addition to creating a framework to regulate cryptocurrency, the group will help combat economic crime and protect consumers. 

While regulators repeatedly issue warnings about the risks of crypto scams and unregulated companies, cryptocurrency-based crime hit a record high in 2021, with the loss $14 billion, up from $7.8 billion in 2020, according to Chainalysis, the blockchain data platform. 

But the New York-based research firm said those numbers don’t tell the full story. Cryptocurrency transactions totaled $15.8 trillion in 2021, up 567% from 2020.  

In November, Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said the increased popularity of cryptocurrency has been a boon for illicit activity, PYMNTS reported.

“I’m afraid that the advent of digital means of payment, and in particular crypto assets, … is providing another means of payment for people who want to conduct criminal activity,” Bailey said at the time. 

See more: Bank of England Governor Warns of Crypto Used in Cybercrime 

The crypto panel is backed by CryptoUK, the digital asset trade association, as regulators and Parliament race to manage the explosive growth of crypto markets.  

“Our primary focus will be education, education, education,” Ian Taylor, executive director of CryptoUK, said in the FT report. “There is no real advocacy and education at that level around crypto assets.” 

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