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MPs and Lords form new parliamentary group for crypto and digital assets sector

New parliamentary group for crypto UK

MPs and Lords in the UK parliament have launched a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the crypto and digital assets sector.

The Crypto and Digital Assets Group will give members of the sector a direct link with the associated MPs and Lords, giving them a channel to discuss policy and rules that affect their businesses.

APPGs are informal, cross-party groups run by and for members of both the House of Lords and the Commons but are not granted an official status in parliament.

Broadly, the group has set goals to “support innovation” in the sector, while also introducing new consumer protections as policymakers scramble to catch up with and regulate growing crypto firms.

Ensuring the UK has appropriate crypto regulation

The APPG reportedly intends to investigate the UK’s fast-growing crypto sector, addressing concerns about financial crime in the industry.

The group will also look at the issue of advertising, exploring the use of adverts for cryptocurrencies on social media platforms.

Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, in Scotland, is the chair for the new Crypto and Digital Assets APPG.

“We must ensure that we have an appropriate regulatory framework in the UK which supports innovation and guarantees that the UK remains an attractive destination for innovative firms to set up and grow,” said Cameron.

Over 2 million adults now hold crypto assets

According to research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an estimated 2.3 million UK adults now hold cryptocurrencies, with a median holding of £300.

Crypto platforms such as eToro, Coinbase, amon, and BlockFi have made cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin a highly accessible investment choice in the past few years.

Interestingly, while most consumers now say they see their holdings as an “alternative or complement to mainstream investments”, those who were persuaded to buy after viewing an advert are “much more likely to regret their purchase”.

Cameron said: “It is equally vital that we have a clear regime to protect consumers, ensuring they understand the risks, and are protected from the risk of economic harm posed by fraud and scams.

“Looking at how we can best protect consumers must be a top priority for government and regulators,” she added.

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