UK folds on plan to regulate crypto like gambling

The original gambling proposal came in May, and the Treasury said it ran “completely counter to globally agreed recommendations”


Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


The British government has rejected a proposal to regulate crypto trading and investing as if it were gambling. 

Economic Secretary to the HM Treasury Andrew Griffith has “firmly” disagreed with the UK Parliament’s Treasury Committee’s idea to police “retail trading and investment activity in unbacked cryptoassets as gambling rather than as a financial service.”

In the May report, the Committee considered bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) “unbacked cryptoassets” that have “no intrinsic value” and serve “no useful social purpose.”

Griffith argued that rendering crypto trading synonymous with gambling, instead of bringing it under a “financial services regulatory framework,” would oppose established recommendations from “international organizations and standard-setting bodies.”

One such body mentioned was the UK Financial Stability Board, which published a set of nine guidelines for regulating crypto in October 2022. Nowhere in the 77-page document does the FSB suggest bringing crypto asset activity under the umbrella of the Gambling Commission as the Committee had requested.

Griffith also said that the gambling rules approach could fail to mitigate “critical risks” to consumers such as “market manipulation, inadequate prudential arrangements, and deficiencies in core financial risk management practices.”

The UK government published a consultation paper in February 2023 in its first major foray into crypto regulation, professing a desire to work with digital asset firms “to develop a regulatory framework.”

More recently, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has mulled plans to rein in crypto memes.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Akash is a general-purpose compute platform with GPUs, storage, LLM training or inference, and validator hosting through its two-sided marketplace.


The SEC could allow half a dozen or more such funds to launch at once, Ark Invest CEO says


2023 saw a decline in a16z crypto funding, but the behemoth VC firm teased what it’s excited for next year


“Iran Unchained” launched a new version of its grant platform to make donations to activists easier


The stablecoin marks the first time a regulated European bank has made a euro-pegged stablecoin available on a crypto exchange


Build it and they will come, perhaps, but making crypto easier to use is turning out to be just as important


Amid moves by Itau Unibanco and Nubank, the country could serve as “a proof of concept” for TradFi-crypto integrations, industry research exec says