Royal Mint to create NFT in push to make UK 'cryptoasset' hub

The UK Government has announced that 'stablecoins' will be recognised as valid forms of payment.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak asks Royal Mint to create NFT in push to make UK ‘crypto’ hub iStock

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has asked the Royal Mint to create an NFT (non-fungible token) in a push to make the UK a “cryptoasset hub”.

An NFT is a digital representation of a real-life object like art, music or photos and allows people to own the original with proof in a kind of unique digital certificate.

Some NFTs have sold for millions of dollars. Auction house Christie’s sale of an NFT by artist Beeple for $69m set a new record for digital art.

On Monday, the UK Government announced a host of plans to engage the country’s financial services in the “cutting edge of technology”.

It included, cryptocurrencies linked with currencies such as the dollar, known as “stablecoins”, will be recognised as valid forms of payment.

The Government said that with appropriate regulation, they could provide a more efficient means of payment and widen consumer choice.

Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for cryptoasset technology, and the measures we’ve outlined today will help to ensure firms can invest, innovate and scale up in this country.

“We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.

“This is part of our plan to ensure the UK financial services industry is always at the forefront of technology and innovation.”

A Cryptoasset Engagement Group will be established to work more closely with the industry and there are plans to adapt the UK’s tax system by exploring ways of making it more competitive for the cryptoasset market.