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UK Conservatives Elect Crypto Bull Rishi Sunak as Next Prime Minister

The former Finance Minister is a supporter of both private-sector crypto innovation and CBDCs.

2 min read
Cryptocurrencies in the United Kingdom have come under fire from regulators. Image: Shutterstock

Former UK Finance Minister and established crypto-bull, Rishi Sunak, will soon replace Liz Truss as the nation’s Prime Minister. 

Truss was ejected from her leadership position just 45 days after assuming office after her ambitious plan to slash taxes on the nation’s highest earner quickly backfired. Mortgage prices soared in the aftermath, while the pound sterling tanked–quickly making her unpopular with the vast majority of Britons.

Her replacement, newly chosen by his fellow Conservative Party members, was the only candidate to receive support from over 100 lawmakers. That made him the only MP eligible to run in an election, making him win by default.

"I can confirm that we have received one valid nomination, and Rishi Sunak is therefore elected as leader of the Conservative Party," said Graham Brady, a party official. 

Sunak on crypto

Truss showed online support for a low-regulation approach to crypto back in 2018, but has made few comments on the industry besides that.

Sunak, by contrast, advocated for turning Britain into a full-blown crypto hub earlier this year.

Some of Sunak’s ambitions include turning stablecoins into a “recognized form of payment” in the UK while creating a “financial infrastructure sandbox” to help firms innovate in the sector. 

“We want to see the businesses of tomorrow—and the jobs they create—here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term,” said Sunak in April. 

Before politics, Sunak worked as a hedge fund manager at the investment bank Goldman Sachs in the U.S. Elected to parliament in 2015, he was later appointed as chancellor of the exchequer in 2020, right before the pandemic began. 

In October of last year, Sunak  showed enthusiasm over possibly issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) at the Bank of England, which could “offer businesses and consumers new ways to pay.”

Months earlier, he announced a joint task force between the Treasury and central bank to research how CBDCs could work as a complement to cash and bank deposits. 

Canada’s conservative party also elected a Bitcoin bull, Pierre Poilievre, as its leader in September. His political opponents have since turned that support into a vector of attack. 

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