Investors and cryptocurrency companies in the UK have high hopes that the new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, will be able to change Britain’s view of cryptocurrency.
The new British leader, who was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s finance minister, faces a daunting list of tasks, including repairing the economic havoc caused by his predecessor, Liz Truss. Crypto isn’t quite at the top of his priority list, but industry insiders say there is cause for optimism.
“The feeling among entrepreneurs is one of relief,” said Christian Weiss, co-founder of digital lending startup Lund-Invest. “There is a sense that we finally have a sane person, after the arrogance and incompetence of Liz Truss and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Quarting, who almost brought the UK economy into a tailspin.”
Weiss, who also heads the Fintech Founders Network, added, “Ricci sees the opportunities and potential of digital currency, and wants the UK to be a leader in it.”
Sunak, a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, has on several occasions expressed his positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies. As the minister in charge of Britain’s finances, he laid out a grand plan to make the country a global cryptocurrency hub in April. This included bringing in stablecoins within regulatory parameters and an agreement with Royal (LON:RDSa) Mint, the UK’s official coin maker, to launch a non-exchangeable token.
At a reception organized by Index Ventures venture capital investment in June, Sunak said he was “determined” to make the UK “the jurisdiction of choice for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology”.
But after weeks of political instability, crypto companies and investors are wondering what he will do to boost a market, which is still licking its wounds a few months after the collapse in digital asset prices and a slew of corporate bankruptcies.