The Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, a U.K. reform bill that recognizes cryptocurrency trading as a regulated financial activity, received so-called Royal Assent on Thursday to make the bill law, according to a Thursday press release by the U.K. government.

See related article: U.K. could push out crypto regulation within a year: lawmaker Andrew Griffith

Fast facts

  • The law recognizes what it calls cryptoassets as “cryptographically secured digital representation of value or contractual rights” and as regulated financial instruments, products or investments. 
  • It “enables the regulation of cryptoassets to support their safe adoption in the U.K.,” wrote the U.K Treasury in the press release, calling it a “rocket boost” for the economy.
  • Royal Assent is a procedural stage that follows lawmakers’ agreement on a bill, making it an Act of Parliament in the country. The crypto bill received approval from the upper house of Parliament on June 19.
  • “The formal recognition of cryptocurrencies in the U.K. represents a significant advancement for the broader crypto industry,” said Jeff Feng, co-founder of blockchain developer Sei Labs, in an emailed comment. “It serves as an acknowledgement of the growing legitimacy of digital assets, something that is becoming increasingly crucial as countries worldwide compete for supremacy in the crypto and tech space.”
  • The move indicates the U.K.’s ambition to become a hub for crypto innovation, according to Feng, who said “the U.K. might be positioning itself as the ‘Singapore of Europe’ when it comes to crypto, aiming to attract entrepreneurs and compete with other crypto-friendly European countries.”
  • On Wednesday, the Law Commissions of England and Wales published recommendations to reform and develop laws related to digital assets, which argues that digital assets – including cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens – should be classified as a new category of personal property.

See related article: EU’s MiCA crypto rules published in official journal