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The UK government plans to set out new rules for stablecoins and crypto-asset staking services to be approved by lawmakers within the next six months, as it faces growing pressure to implement concrete proposals ahead of the impending general election.

Speaking at an industry event hosted by Coinbase in London on Monday, Finance Minister Bim Afolami said the government was “pushing very hard” to bring the legislation to fruition.

“We are very clear that we want to get these things done as quickly as possible. And I think that is possible over the next six months,” Apolami said.

The Treasury first pledged last October to provide more clarity on certain areas of cryptocurrency by sometime in 2024. This commitment follows initial consultations on fiat-backed stablecoins (digital tokens that maintain a one-to-one value using asset reserves). traditional currencies such as the dollar and pound, and a larger Financial Services and Markets Act was passed last summer.

Market observers such as blockchain analytics firm Elliptic have said they expect fiat-backed stablecoins and their issuers to be regulated under existing payments laws. This is a measure that provides UK financial regulators with the means to specify the asset types that can support stablecoins.

Staking, the process by which investors lock up tokens to allow them to continue operating a blockchain in exchange for a small return, is expected to receive a new classification that would no longer be considered a collective investment, said Coinbase’s vice president of international policy. Tom Duff Gordon said: He said in an interview:

Broader proposals to bring cryptocurrency exchanges and other industry providers under existing financial services rules remain unclear. Asked if the guidance could become law this year, Apolami said he could not provide a timeline.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak first promised to turn the UK into a global cryptocurrency hub in 2022 in a bid to attract more digital asset companies and investments to the country. Relatively little regulatory progress has been made since then, although cryptocurrency companies say the lack of clear rules makes it difficult to operate.

“The short answer is I don’t know,” Afolami said of the timeline for broader cryptocurrency regulation beyond stablecoins and staking. “I don’t want to commit to that right now because there’s a huge amount of work going on.”

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