Major U-Turn As Rishi Sunak's Plan For A Government NFT Is Axed
Rishi Sunak’s plan for a government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) has been quietly ditched.
The prime minister threw his weight behind the idea when he was still chancellor last April.
NFTs can be anything digital such as a drawing or music but each one is a unique “one of a kind” asset
They are stored on a blockchain - the same decentralised ledger of transactions used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Sunak said: “It’s my ambition to make the UK a global hub for cryptoasset technology.”
The Treasury announced that he had asked the Royal Mint to produce its own NFT by last summer.
“This decision shows the the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK,” the Treasury said in a tweet.
Chancellor @RishiSunak has asked @RoyalMintUK to create an NFT to be issued by the summer.
This decision shows the the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK. pic.twitter.com/cd0tiailBK
— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) April 4, 2022
But in an embarrassment for the PM, it has now emerged that the Royal Mint is “not proceeding with the launch” following consultation with the Treasury.
Labour’s shadow City minister Tulip Siddiq said:“I’m glad that the Royal Mint has finally made the Conservatives see sense, but we’ve been calling on the Chancellor to drop this crypto gimmick for months.
“This out-of-touch government should be focused on the cost-of-living crisis not wasting time and taxpayers’ money on an NFT vanity project and promoting dodgy stablecoins.
“A Labour government would be serious about attracting fintech companies to the UK, by safely harnessing new technologies and our ambition to make Britain the homegrown startup hub of the world.”