Ripple senior executives Andrew Whitworth and Susan Friedman have commended the United Kingdom’s progressive approach to the cryptocurrency industry, stating that the country is surpassing the United States in terms of crypto regulations. Their remarks were made following the Royal approval of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which effectively regulated crypto trading as a financial activity within the UK.
Friedman emphasized that this legislation signifies a major milestone in global crypto regulation. As an executive of a crypto payment company, she further expressed that the bill demonstrates the UK’s advancement over the US in critical areas. Echoing this sentiment, Whitworth, Ripple’s Policy Director for EMEA, hailed the UK’s fulfillment of its promise to become a leading crypto hub. The approval of the Financial Services and Markets Bill concludes an extensive regulatory process aimed at overseeing the UK’s financial sector. While the law addresses various subjects, it includes provisions specifically governing cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, providing regulators with a legal framework for digital assets. Furthermore, the bill recognizes stablecoins as a legitimate form of payment and imposes regulations on crypto as a financial activity. Additionally, it enforces stringent monitoring of crypto advertisements and promotions.
The United States’ approach to crypto regulation has faced criticism from multiple stakeholders in the crypto industry. Financial regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) have been vying for control over the emerging sector, resulting in confusion among market participants. Throughout 2023, these financial regulators initiated legal actions against prominent crypto firms, including Binance and Coinbase. Furthermore, there has been a lack of consensus between these agencies when it comes to classifying certain crypto assets as securities or commodities.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse highlighted the regulatory ambiguity as a driving force behind several US-based crypto firms exploring opportunities in foreign jurisdictions. The uncertain regulatory environment has led companies like Bittrex, Paxful, and others to exit the US market in search of more favorable conditions abroad.