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UK Government abandons plan for "NFT for Britain"

UK PM Rishi Sunak had requested the Royal Mint to develop the NFT as a way to boost the UK's standing in the global crypto-asset technology and investment space

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Mar 28, 2023 02:01:25 PM IST
Updated: Mar 28, 2023 02:11:30 PM IST

UK Government abandons plan for "NFT for Britain"Image: Shutterstock

The United Kingdom has decided not to proceed with the creation of a government-backed "NFT for Britain," which was first proposed by the pro-crypto Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

During his tenure as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sunak had requested the Royal Mint to develop the NFT in April 2022, as a way to boost the UK's standing in the global crypto-asset technology and investment space.

The launch was scheduled for summer 2022, but the project missed its deadline and has been abandoned.

When asked by the Treasury Select Committee's chair if there were any plans for the Royal Mint to release a nonfungible token on March 27th, the Economic Secretary of the Treasury, Andrew Griffith, stated that the Royal Mint is not moving forward with the launch of an NFT presently but will continue to monitor the proposal while working alongside HM Treasury.

Harriet Baldwin, who is the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, asked the question in Parliament about the plan for the Royal Mint to launch an NFT. She later commented in a BBC report on March 26th that there hasn't been enough evidence to suggest that regular people should invest their money in speculative tokens, and that they might lose their money if they do.

Baldwin then speculated that the Royal Mint might have decided not to proceed with the NFT launch due to these concerns, along with the guidance of the Treasury.

The idea of "NFT for Britain" seems to lack specificity, as there is no clear explanation from the Royal Mint or the Treasury about the NFT's purpose and how they would function.

When the project was first introduced, it was stated that more information would be released shortly. However, critics of the initiative, like Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves of the Labor Party, questioned the Prime Minister's judgement and criticised his focus on the NFT project, given the country's pressing economic issues.

Reeves referred to it as "hopeless," highlighting that the country is currently dealing with a high cost of living crisis that has been exacerbated by the Chancellor's decisions.

The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash

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