The U.K. Treasury is canceling its plans to release a government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) aimed at making the United Kingdom a global crypto hub.
Initially proposed by U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak when he was chancellor in April 2022, the Royal Mint was tasked with releasing the coin by the summer of 2022 but apparently faced delays. The Royal Mint had previously teased plans for utilizing blockchain technology to track its gold supply in 2017. In a statement on Monday, the U.K.’s economic secretary Andrew Griffith said that the plans were not moving forward “at this time” but that the proposal would remain under review. Chair of the Treasury Select Committee Harriet Baldwin said that the government’s chief financial minister would be asked if issuing an NFT “remains the policy of his department.”According to the BBC, Baldwin cited economic uncertainty across the cryptocurrency sector as a factor in sunsetting the collection.
"We have not yet seen a lot of evidence that our constituents should be putting their money in these speculative tokens unless they are prepared to lose all their money,” said Chair of the Treasury Select Committee Harriet Baldwin. “So perhaps that is why the Royal Mint has made this decision in conjunction with the Treasury.”
Other global leaders have recently signaled a willingness to embrace NFTs and other Web3 technologies. In October, Japan announced plans to invest in the country’s digital transformation through NFTs and metaverse services. In January, China launched an NFT and digital asset marketplace, despite otherwise strict cryptocurrency regulations.