U.K. Abandons Plans to Launch Non-Fungible Token
NFTs

U.K. Abandons Plans to Launch Non-Fungible Token

2m
11 months ago

"In consultation with HM Treasury, the Royal Mint is not proceeding with the launch of a non-fungible token at this time but will keep this proposal under review."

U.K. Abandons Plans to Launch Non-Fungible Token

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The U.K. has abandoned plans to launch its own non-fungible token.

Last year, the government had revealed that the Royal Mint — which issues the country's coins — was set to release a crypto collectible by the summer of 2022.

But the ambitious plans have been beset by months of delays, with a punishing bear market also denting the crypto industry's image.

When asked whether the government was standing by its policy, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith said:

"In consultation with HM Treasury, the Royal Mint is not proceeding with the launch of a non-fungible token at this time but will keep this proposal under review."

Harriet Baldwin chairs the Treasury Select Committee, which oversees this department's activities and policies. She told the BBC:

"We have not yet seen a lot of evidence that our constituents should be putting their money in these speculative tokens unless they are prepared to lose all their money. So perhaps that is why the Royal Mint has made this decision in conjunction with the Treasury."

The launch of an NFT was among a slew of crypto-friendly policies that included recognizing stablecoins as a valid payment method.

A number of Conservative politicians — including the former finance minister Philip Hammond — have repeatedly called for the U.K. to introduce laws that would allow it to become a global cryptoasset hub, arguing that it would give the country a competitive advantage following the vote to leave the European Union.

Many of these policies were spearheaded by Rishi Sunak while he was finance minister — and back in April 2022, he had expressed a desire for crypto businesses to create jobs in the U.K. "By regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term," he added.

Sunak became the prime minister late last year after months of political turmoil saw the U.K. burn through three leaders in the space of a year.

Critics of NFTs have long dismissed them as a speculative bubble — and at the height of frenzied trading, cartoons of rocks were selling for well over one million dollars.

But skeptics, primarily in the rival Labour Party, had argued that the fixation with NFTs was tone deaf at a time when some British families were facing an impossible choice between eating and heating their homes.

The government also came under scrutiny after refusing to reveal how much money had been spent on developing its official NFT.

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