The former chancellor of the United Kingdom has expressed concern that the country is lagging behind its competitors in the European Union when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies.

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Philip Hammond, who served as UK Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2016 to 2019, told Bloomberg that there is a distinct lack of direction and cohesion when it comes to cryptopolitics.

“In the area of ​​digital asset trading in particular, I feel like the UK has missed a trick. […] We are very close to the moment when it will be too late. Other jurisdictions are ahead of us.”

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“The problem is, there are no rules, and no one knows exactly where they are, right? It’s a bit like the wild west and, frankly, it has gained a mixed reputation, especially among politicians, politicians and the public.”

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He also stressed that the development of digital trading infrastructure will be key to making the UK a trading hub for tokenized traditional assets such as tokenized stocks and tokenized bonds.

“Correct compliance with digital trading rules will be an important condition for becoming a player in the digitization of traditional financial assets.”

“Jurisdictions that have adopted this technology, properly and effectively regulated it, will be the ones that will develop these markets, and they will become new centers.”

The criticism of the former minister came despite the promises of the UK government in May to pass a law regulating the crypto industry.

Hammond said that while the country has been “very fast in adopting new technologies” in the past, this has not been as obvious when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation, adding that it was likely due to a combination of “bandwidth issues” and “an issue containers.”

“This is a very new area of ​​technology. It is very difficult for public sector bodies with a public sector pay structure to recruit the best and brightest in these areas.”

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“Personally, I think that [Financial Conduct Authority] The FCA should have gone to the industry and said we needed secondments. We can’t, you know, we can’t hire the people we need. We need industry to provide us with the talent to design the regimes we need to introduce.”

In his defence, Hammond said that regulators are going through a period of enormous stress related to the effects of Brexit, Covid-19 and its impact on their own operating mechanisms.

Hammond is no stranger to the crypto industry, currently serving as a senior advisor at Copper.co, a London-based startup firm that provides custody and infrastructure services in the digital asset sector, since October 2011.