Home Crypto’s future uncertain in UK election

Crypto’s future uncertain in UK election


  • The Labour Party, likely to win the UK general election, has not detailed its crypto policies, leaving the industry's future uncertain.
  • Crypto was absent from manifestos of major UK parties, including Labour, Conservatives, and Liberal Democrats.
  • Industry experts hope regulatory work by the FCA and government departments will continue post-election regardless of the outcome.

As millions of voters in the United Kingdom head to polling booths today (July 4), the Labour Party, poised to win, has remained largely silent on cryptocurrency policies during the last debate.

This silence leaves the future of the UK’s crypto industry uncertain.

The center-left party’s campaign has barely touched on crypto, save for brief mentions of tokenization and support for a digital pound. The recent debate between Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer focused on welfare, immigration, and European Union relations, with crypto notably absent.

Surprisingly, crypto is missing from the manifestos of all major parties, including the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. With Labour leading in polls at 42% compared to the Conservatives’ 19%, Starmer will likely become Prime Minister with a significant parliamentary majority. Labour’s manifesto emphasizes economic growth, healthcare, and policing, without specific crypto policies.

Not a UK-specific problem

This trend isn’t unique to the UK. In most of the 60+ nations holding elections this year, crypto has not been a significant campaign issue. The United States stands out as an exception, with some discussion of crypto in the presidential race.

Industry experts recently cited by Coindesk hope that despite the lack of campaign focus, crypto won’t be ignored post-election. George McDonaugh, the co-founder and co-managing director of investment firm KR1, argued that the sector can contribute to job creation and economic growth.

Some anticipate that ongoing regulatory work by government departments and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will continue regardless of the election outcome. Key regulatory needs include legislation for stablecoins, staking rules, and market abuse regulations. Laura Navaratnam, U.K. policy lead at the Crypto Council for Innovation, wrote in a recent opinion article:

One would hope that [stablecoin legislation] is a fairly uncontroversial piece of legislation, which is already off the back of something fairly big, i.e. the amendments to the Financial Services and Markets Act, would be allowed to carry on in which case we would hope that we will see something in the autumn.

The crypto industry also seeks clarity on promotion rules and a comprehensive regulatory framework beyond the current anti-money laundering regime. The Conservative government had previously positioned the UK as a potential crypto hub, initiating consultations on regulation and passing legislation to facilitate crypto seizures in criminal cases.

Whether a Labour government would maintain this direction remains to be seen.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Radek Zielinski
Tech Journalist

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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