Bittrex Global CEO Oliver Linch has voiced support for the UK Treasury’s recent crypto asset regulation proposals, arguing that they could help the country achieve its goal of becoming a leading hub for digital assets.
In a recent interview, Linch, a former solicitor at Shearman & Sterling with extensive experience in regulatory policy, said he believes that the UK’s proposed approach is a practical and realistic one.
While some within the crypto community have expressed lukewarm responses to the proposals, he argued that the regulations offer much-needed guidance and clarity.
“It’s the UK’s first significant move towards treating crypto as a viable, grown-up asset class in serving the needs of both institutional and retail investors, albeit one that has garnered a somewhat lukewarm response thus far,” Linch said.
“While the reception from within the crypto community has been muted, I think that’s unfair.”
He said that the decision to include crypto within existing regulatory frameworks could inspire confidence among market participants, especially large financial institutions.
By leveraging familiar legislative frameworks, the risk of regulatory missteps may be reduced, thereby encouraging greater institutional investment in the crypto space, he noted.
UK’s Latest Crypto Legislation Suggests it Recognizes the Significance of Digital Assets
Linch said that the UK government’s decision to incorporate crypto within its general financial services legislative framework signifies that it recognizes the significance of digital assets in the financial sector.
“The UK government is signaling that it agrees with Bittrex Global’s view that the future of crypto is simply as another (albeit hugely important) part of the financial sector; this is an important first step in crypto taking its rightful place at the adult’s table,” he said.
The UK Treasury’s final proposals, which were created based on input from industry experts and market events, aim to establish stringent requirements for firms engaging with UK retail consumers.
Under the new regulation, crypto firms, regardless of their geographical location, would need to obtain authorization from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and adhere to specific standards and disclosure requirements.
While the proposals notably exclude regulations for decentralized finance (DeFi), the UK Treasury recognizes that it is premature to regulate this sector at present.
Linch commended the government’s response, pointing out that it is crucial to focus on the positive aspects of the proposals and acknowledging that there is still more detail to come.
The UK has been taking steps towards providing regulatory clarity in the crypto space.
Earlier this year, the country officially passed legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies and stablecoins as part of its broader financial regulatory reforms post-Brexit.
The law, dubbed the Financial Services and Markets bill, will grant regulators the authority to establish a tailored framework for the digital asset sector, supporting crypto’s “safe adoption in the UK.”