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Cryptocurrency is like gambling, say UK MPs

Cryptocurrency is like gambling, say UK MPs

Cryptocurrency should be treated like gambling, say UK politicians.

MPs sitting on the Treasury Select Committee have warned the government that “unbacked” digital assets like crypto and NFTS ought to be regulated in the same manner as risky activities like betting and condemned Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s failed intention to launch a government-backed NFT back when he was Chancellor.

They said: "In the meantime, the risks posed by crypto assets to consumers and the environment are real and present."

"The government's recent foray into seeking (and subsequently abandoning) the production of a Royal Mint non-fungible token (NFT) is a case in point.

"It is not the government's role to promote particular technological innovations for their own sake".

"These characteristics more closely resemble gambling than a financial service,"

The Treasury explained they did not support applying gambling rules to to crypto.

A spokesperson told BBC News that the concerns represented by crypto were "typical of those that exist in traditional financial services and its financial services regulation - rather than gambling regulation - that has the track record in mitigating them"

CryptoUK, a trade association, also slammed the findings - which come amid concerns from specialists dealing with gambling addiction about recovering addicts turning to crypto - and called them "unhelpful, false, fundamentally flawed and unsubstantiated".

Tracey Crouch MP, the ex-sports minister and anti-gambling campaigner, was supportive of the Select Committee’s findings.

She said: "At the moment, crypto feels like a Wild West town with no sheriff.

"However, I'm sure, if properly resourced, the Gambling Commission could bring some order into this complex, risky and often confusing area that has unwittingly sucked in consumers by marketing to them via sports such as football, giving a pretence to fans and others that they are safe and protected."

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