- The UK government has pulled the plug on an NFT by the Royal Mint.
- The announcement comes despite the perception the current PM Rishi Sunak is pro-crypto.
- The government announced plans to produce an NFT for sale about a year ago, before the crypto winter.
The UK Government has decided to end the production of a non-fungible token (NFT) by the Royal Mint. The news has come out just about a year after current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the Royal Mint to issue an NFT by the summer of 2022.
At the time, HM Treasury said the decision “shows the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards crypto assets in the UK.” Although those plans seem to be off, for now, they could be still revived in the future.
Responding to a question from the Conservative MP Harriett Baldwin, the Treasury’s economic secretary, Andrew Griffith, confirmed the abandonment, saying: “In consultation with HM Treasury, the Royal Mint is not proceeding with the launch of a non-fungible token at this time but will keep this proposal under review.”
The revelation also comes at a time when the global crypto market is experiencing a downturn. Crypto investors were optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies in the UK when Rishi Sunak took over as PM, but the latest developments suggest things are not straightforward.
Tulip Siddiq, the shadow City minister was one of those who took the news positively, saying: “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,” added Siddiq.
The decision to scrap the token mint may also have come due to a lack of progress, with reports indicating that The Mint had not even produced “a visualisation of what the proposed non-fungible token would look like,” The Guardian reported.
But the slowdown could also be tied to the fact that the project was launched just weeks before the start of the crypto bear market, which was made worse by the collapse of some of the top companies in the industry at the time including the crypto exchange platform FTX, crypto hedge fund, Voyager Digital and web3 venture capital firm Three Arrows Capital, among others.
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