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UK Seeks to Attract Web3 Firms Amid Regulatory Shift: Policy Exchange Recommendations

Amid regulatory uncertainties, the United States is witnessing the departure of Web3 companies, presenting an opportunity for the United Kingdom. To attract these companies, the UK must adjust its regulatory stance, easing some cryptocurrency-related conditions, according to a recent report by the well-known Conservative Think Tank, Policy Exchange, released on October 2.

The report offers ten recommendations to the British government aimed at enhancing the nation’s Web3 legislation. One key suggestion is limiting the liabilities of individuals who own tokens in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). The report highlights a recent U.S. decision that holds Americans who own or have owned DAO tokens responsible for any legal infractions committed by the DAO.

The research emphasizes the UK’s potential to benefit from the relocation of Web3 companies from the US. In 2022, crypto assets worth £943 billion were traded in the US. Under favorable regulation, the UK could capture approximately £29 billion of this activity, potentially resulting in an additional £10.7 billion in assets and over 36,000 jobs, fostering new businesses and generating tax revenue.

The report also suggests that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s primary financial regulator, should relax its current Know Your Customer (KYC) guidelines to accommodate “alternative and innovative techniques,” such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools.

The ten recommendations by Policy Exchange include implementing a new crypto-asset regulatory framework embracing decentralization through secondary legislation and regulation, offering legal safeguards and liabilities for DAOs and their members, and adapting anti-money laundering (AML) standards to the unique characteristics of blockchain transactions.

Moreover, the report advocates for the protection of self-hosted online wallets, clear disclosures about stablecoins, excluding staking services from FCA’s mandate, creating a tax framework for crypto assets, and reducing KYC requirements.

The conflict over KYC with cryptocurrency exchanges has been a significant regulatory challenge. The decentralized nature of many cryptocurrency systems conflicts with the need for KYC to identify users, leading to stricter requirements and penalties. Binance, for instance, introduced stringent ID and facial verification requirements for new users due to regulatory pressures.

Balancing the need for KYC to meet regulatory standards while accommodating the principles of decentralized finance presents a complex challenge. However, the proposed recommendations from Policy Exchange suggest potential solutions, including the use of innovative techniques like digital identities and blockchain analytics tools if the FCA adopts a more flexible approach.

News Desk

Unlock News Desk, is a group of Blockchain and Crypto enthusiastic young people, working to keep Unlock readers up to date with the industry news. Connect with the team via email: info(@)unlock-bc.com

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