UK General Election Raises Questions for the Crypto Industry

As the United Kingdom goes to the polls today, July 4, the outcome of the general election could usher in significant changes, particularly for the cryptocurrency sector.

The Labour Party, which is leading in the polls with a 42% share compared to the Conservatives’ 19%, is expected to secure a commanding majority.

However, the party’s stance on cryptocurrency remains vague. Despite the growing prominence of crypto markets, digital currency policies were notably absent from the debate topics and party manifestos during the election campaign.

Policy Uncertainty Amidst Political Silence

During the recent debates, where topics such as welfare, immigration, and relations with the European Union dominated, cryptocurrency was scarcely mentioned.

Neither Labour leader Keir Starmer nor Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak addressed the crypto industry’s future during their discussions.

Similarly, the election manifestos of major parties, including the Conservatives, Labour, and the Liberal Democrats, have all overlooked cryptocurrency, leaving stakeholders in the sector uncertain about future regulatory landscapes.

This absence of policy direction is not isolated to the UK. Globally, a few of the over 60 nations conducting elections this year have prioritized crypto regulation in their campaigns.

The United States is a notable exception, where cryptocurrency has emerged as a topic of discussion in the presidential race.

Industry leaders in the UK hope that, regardless of the lack of election focus, the significance of crypto will not be ignored post-election. Figures like George McDonaugh, co-founder of KR1, emphasize the potential of the crypto sector to bolster job creation and economic growth.

Future Regulatory Prospects and Industry Expectations

Despite the electoral oversight, there is an expectation that the ongoing regulatory efforts by government departments and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will persist after the election.

Key areas needing regulation include stablecoins, staking, and market abuse rules. Laura Navaratnam of the Crypto Council for Innovation expresses hope that the stablecoin legislation will progress smoothly, given its foundation in recent amendments to the Financial Services and Markets Act.

Moreover, the crypto industry is seeking more comprehensive regulations that extend beyond the current anti-money laundering measures.

Under the Conservative government, the UK had begun positioning itself as a potential hub for crypto, initiating regulatory consultations and facilitating legislation for crypto seizures in criminal activities. Whether a potential Labour government would continue this trajectory is still up for debate.

As the dust settles post-election, the crypto industry remains watchful, eager for a clearer regulatory framework that could define its role in the UK’s economic landscape. Whether Labour’s potential leadership will address these industry needs or maintain the status quo is yet to be determined.

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Arslan Butt
Index & Commodity Analyst
Arslan Butt serves as the Lead Commodities and Indices Analyst, bringing a wealth of expertise to the field. With an MBA in Behavioral Finance and active progress towards a Ph.D., Arslan possesses a deep understanding of market dynamics. His professional journey includes a significant role as a senior analyst at a leading brokerage firm, complementing his extensive experience as a market analyst and day trader. Adept in educating others, Arslan has a commendable track record as an instructor and public speaker. His incisive analyses, particularly within the realms of cryptocurrency and forex markets, are showcased across esteemed financial publications such as ForexCrunch, InsideBitcoins, and EconomyWatch, solidifying his reputation in the financial community.
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