The UK is at a turning point in crypto regulation, policymakers say 

The comments come as the EU continues to implement its MiCA framework

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a16z Crypto’s Head of Policy Brian Quintenz | Ben Solomon Photo LLC for Blockworks

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The United Kingdom can learn from what other countries have gotten right — and wrong — with digital asset regulation, policymakers said Wednesday. 

“We have such an opportunity in the UK because we’ve seen what’s happening in the [European Union]…and indeed to a large extent what isn’t happening in the United States,” Lord Chris Holmes, member of the UK House of Lords, said Wednesday. 

Lord Holmes appeared alongside Dr. Lisa Cameron, Member of UK Parliament, during a panel discussion at the Blockworks Digital Asset Summit in London. The two agreed that establishing clear, effective innovation quickly is essential. 

Read from our opinion section: DeFi needs institutions — and regulation 

“It’s actually the digital revolution that we’re on the cusp of, and we need to make sure that the UK is at the helm of it,” Dr. Cameron said Wednesday. 

The comments come as the EU continues to implement its Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) framework, which the European Parliament passed in 2023. 

The legislation, while widely hailed as one of the more comprehensive policy packages for crypto in the world, does still leave some gaps. EU Parliament members opted to hold off on creating regulations around DeFi, which some say is actually a positive. 

“If a jurisdiction can understand and create thresholds of decentralization and incentives to achieve decentralization…that jurisdiction is where all of the innovation is going to go,” Brian Quintenz, global head of policy at a16z Crypto, said. 

Lord Holmes agreed, adding that the industry should not fear policy because it can be done correctly. 

Read more: UK minister eyes stablecoin, staking legislation in next 6 months: Report

“If anyone tells you regulation will stifle innovation, will stifle investment, it will only do that if it’s the wrong regulation,” Lord Holmes said. 

Lord Holmes, a self-described “rational optimist” when it comes to the future of crypto regulation in the UK, said this is a “snapshot moment” for the industry. 

“We have a big opportunity right now,” Lord Holmes said. “It’s my ambition, working with Lisa [Cameron] and others across the Parliament to…enable legislation with the goal of inclusion and innovation.”


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