According to a press statement issued by the United Kingdom government on Thursday, King Charles III gave Royal Assent to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, making it law. After legislation receives Royal Assent, it enters the next phase of the legislative process and becomes a law in the nation. The crypto legislation was passed by the Senate on June 19.
Trading cryptocurrencies now falls within the purview of the law as an established financial practise. Cryptocurrencies are “cryptographically secured digital representation of value or contractual rights,” according to the updated Financial Services and Markets Act, and as such are considered a kind of regulated financial instrument, product, or investment.
With this decision, the United Kingdom officially joins the European Union, which was among the first major governments to regulate cryptocurrencies. The European Union’s Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) law cleared the path for other countries to introduce widespread rules, speeding the growth of the cryptocurrency industry.
It may not be until next year that the EU legislation becomes fully operational, but its effects are already being seen. This week, German software company SAP decided to test cross-border payments using stablecoin USDC (USD Coin) to address the difficulties companies encounter when moving money across borders.
This puts the United Kingdom ahead of the United States, which, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler, is still years away from establishing laws for cryptocurrencies. This is cause for alarm since as of 2023 the United States has over 54 million users, while the United Kingdom will have just 31 million users.