Do crypto assets need regulation – what do the experts say?  

June 6, 2023
Gareth Malna


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Members of the gunnercooke Crypto team sat down to discuss their thoughts on the report that the All Party Parliamentary Group for Crypto and Digital Assets made on regulating crypto assets. The report advises the need for urgent regulation of the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry in the UK and made 53 recommendations to Government.  

Gareth Malna, FinTech Partner, said: 

“It’s great news that we’re seeing joined up regulatory action in the UK. The Bitcoin whitepaper was released over a decade ago. In that time the EU has managed to enact MiCA whilst the UK was in danger of watching the train leaving the station whilst stood on the platform.  

“Identifying crypto as a replacement for the payments system is particularly exciting. It clears the way for institutional players to properly enter the space and bring it to maturity.  

“It’s interesting that one of the recommendations is to start with existing regulations and, if one doesn’t fit, only then look to new rules. That’s a slightly different approach than the one proposed by Treasury earlier in the year which talked about realising the “same regulatory outcome for equivalent risks”. I like Treasury’s wording more. It creates greater scope for domain-specific innovation, which is the only way we’ll get to a sensible regulatory outcome.” 

James Burnie, FinTech Partner, added: 

“We are seeing a range of regulators seeking to create frameworks to make their jurisdiction a crypto hub. In practice this has tended to revolve around having a relative degree of overlap (to help meet equivalence requirements) as well as seeking key differentiation.  

“What is particularly interesting about these recommendations is how they demonstrate the UK trying to differentiate itself, both via leveraging its traditional strengths in terms of regulatory strength and in trialling new concepts such as CBDCs.” 

Meghan Millward, trainee solicitor, commented: 

“The proposals represent a welcome focus on the need for a balanced approach to the regulation of cryptoassets, providing solid and tangible suggestion on how best to regulate the industry. The challenge shall be in the actual implementation of these suggestions, and how best and most effectively to achieve the policy objectives.” 

To contact Gareth or read more about his practice, click here.  

To contact James or read more about his practice, click here.