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UK economic secretary commits to make country a crypto hub under new PM

Richard Fuller, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said the government wants the United Kingdom to be the “dominant global hub for crypto technologies.”

In a parliamentary debate on crypto asset regulation in the U.K. on Wednesday, Fuller spoke in favor of “powerful” use cases for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, including using distributed ledger technology for customs and international trade and storing medical records on the blockchain. Alexander Stafford, the parliamentary private secretary to newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss, added the prime minister “reaffirmed” her commitment to providing internet connectivity for U.K. residents, which could allow access to buying, selling and mining crypto.

“As crypto technologies grow in significance, the U.K. Government are seeking ways to achieve global competitive advantage for the United Kingdom,” said Fuller.

The economic secretary added:

“We want to become the country of choice for those looking to create, innovate and build in the crypto space […] By making this country a hospitable place for crypto technologies, we can attract investment, generate new jobs, benefit from tax revenues, create a wave of groundbreaking new products and services, and bridge the current position of UK financial services into a new era.”

Fuller said that under Truss, the U.K. government plans to move forward with the Financial Services and Markets Bill, legislation introduced in July which aimed to establish a regulatory framework for stablecoins. In addition, he suggested support for the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, which would grant law enforcement “new powers to seize and recover cryptoassets.”

“The U.K. can either be a spectator as this technology transforms aspects of life, or we can become the best place in the world to start and scale crypto technologies,” said Fuller. “We want the U.K. to be the dominant global hub for crypto technologies, and so will build on the strengths of our thriving fintech sector, creating new jobs, developing groundbreaking new products and services.”

Related: Disgraced MP tells Parliament UK can be the 'home' of crypto

Fuller became economic secretary following the resignation of John Glen and other top officials in the U.K. government in July in response to allegations of misconduct in former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, shaking up positions with the potential to affect crypto policy in the country. On Tuesday, Truss also appointed Kwasi Kwarteng as the chancellor of the exchequer, or chief financial minister.

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