UNITED KINGDOM Govt. Rejects Lawmakers’ drive to classify Crypto Trading as Gambling


The British government is against the gambling analogy being applied to unbacked crypto assets.
A group of UK parliamentarians from different political parties has decided that ‘unbacked’ cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether should be treated as gambling, and the British government has spoken out against this. The government side stated that this approach is not consistent with the standards put forth by organisations like the G20 Financial Stability Board.

In a study published in May, the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee concluded that unbacked cryptocurrencies lack any fundamental value or ‘discernible utility’ but instead carry ‘substantial cost volatility’. The Committee, chaired by Harriet Baldwin MP, has thus advocated for the same controls to be applied to trading digital assets as are currently in place for the gaming industry.

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The government’s opposition to the proposal was communicated in a letter obtained by the House of Commons last Friday from Andrew Griffith MP, Financial Secretary to HM Treasury. Griffith wrote that the’same activity, same risk, same regulatory consequence’ concept underpinning international standards for crypto regulation necessitates applying the same regulations to electronic asset enterprises as are already applied to traditional financial institutions like banks. The Commercial Secretary also argued that the hazards connected with trading electronic assets, such as market manipulation, should not be treated as gambling.

Griffith argued that “”A financial services regulatory framework is more adequate for dealing with the dangers of unbacked crypto assets and setting the environment for safe innovation.””

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