The country will not lead the regulation

According to Britain’s big economic institutions, the UK will not compete to set the global standards in crypto regulation, says Parliament’s top crypto MP.

Dr Lisa Cameron MP has been a Member of Parliament for the Scottish National Party since 2015. She is currently the head of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on crypto and digital assets.

Speaking exclusively to BeInCrypto, he says the industry first became an area of ​​interest after a constituent lost some money in a scam about 18 months ago. His constituent asked him to find out who was doing the cryptocurrency work in Parliament, and it turned out that there was no one. “I had my investigator look into the industry and found out that millions of our constituents were involved.”

Dr. Lisa Cameron is one of the UK’s leading parliamentary voices on crypto.

Dr. Cameron contacted industry body Crypto UK to set up an APPG on cryptocurrencies and digital assets. Hoping to provide a framework for parliamentary scrutiny and policy development.

APPGs help parliamentarians and peers from different parties to work together to discuss issues, suggest policies and initiate debates in parliament. Any parliamentarian or peer can create one and do things like meet, ask questions, write reports and invite experts to testify. They are not an official part of Parliament, but they can still affect government decisions and the functioning of Parliament.

“It largely came from a consumer protection and remediation position, and that remains at the heart of what we do.”

The UK will not be the first to regulate

As a global financial center there is often pressure on the UK to set international standards for the rest of the world. London is still considered the number two financial center. But there is a feeling that the UK is falling behind in digital asset regulation.

“I was doing a little bit of work on the EU and MiCA and how far they were getting. He didn’t want the UK to be left behind.” However, when he spoke to the Bank of England, the Government and the Treasury, they had other ideas about how fast the UK should go. “Being second or third has advantages in terms of seeing what works, capitalizing on it, and fixing anything that isn’t working.”

Has Brexit had a negative effect on the UK crypto economy? He pauses for a moment before saying: “look, I didn’t vote for Brexit, but we are where we are. I only deal with the practical aspects.”

“It gives the UK the opportunity to create a bespoke regulatory system. Which is a bit more work for us, but we could capitalize on some of those opportunities and hopefully build on the Prime Minister’s vision of the UK becoming a crypto hub.”

Is UK Crypto a “Wild West”?

Not everyone in the UK is as open to the crypto industry as Dr. Cameron. Last month, the chairman of the Treasury Select Committee referred to UK cryptocurrencies as the “Wild West.” The comments came after 85% of all crypto companies applying for registration with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) failed to meet minimum standards for money laundering and counter-terrorism.

Incoming FCA chairwoman Ashley Alder recently told the Treasury Select Committee that crypto platforms were “deliberately evasive.” Also, how large organizations within the industry are complicit in money laundering on a large scale.

Reflecting on recent comments, Cameron says there is an element of mixed messages.

“For one, you have statements like that. And then on the other hand, the Prime Minister says that he wants the UK to become a center for cryptocurrency. So, what I have to do in my job, as president of the group, is to try to square that circle”.

“Yes, we need consumer protection. With FTX and all, some people can get scammed, like my own constituent. So for some people, yes, it can be a wild west, so I’m okay with that. But that’s why we need to have a regulatory framework. Once we have that kind of framework that gives consumers and investors confidence, that’s when we can seize the opportunities and the potential.”

The political knowledge gap

During Cameron’s fireside chat, he shared an incident in which he had to explain to an MP that “fiat” did not refer to a car. He expressed concern about the knowledge gap among UK legislators regarding this complex and developing sector, painting a worrying picture.

“At the beginning of this journey, there was very limited knowledge,” she says.

“In Parliament, we tend to be mainly generalists. Then you will understand that there are many debates every day in Parliament, and we can talk about multiple topics. We tend to have knowledge about a lot of things, but it’s not really domain specific.”

“When I started looking into who was doing the work in parliament, and when it had been talked about, and there had been no discussion about the sector at all.”

“This year we’ve had two,” she tells me in late February, sounding pleased. “We have many questions to the minister, and we have had statements from the Government. So, you know, now we have a lot of momentum.”

Although Cameron herself is modest about her own knowledge and emphasizes the learning journey she herself has been on. “Parliamentarians come from a limited baseline of knowledge, and I include myself in that,” she tells me, her hand on her chest, smiling as her parliamentary assistant passes her lunch. “We have had to improve ourselves. This sector is not something you can just pick up a brochure and talk about in Parliament. First you need an educational program.”


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