Prime Minister Sunak: Pro-Crypto or CBDC Enabler?

With Rishi Sunak assuming the top office in the United Kingdom today, following the disastrous but thankfully short Truss tenure, things could be looking up for crypto. 

42-year-old Sunak, who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury from 2019 to 2020, is generally perceived to be pro-crypto. In fact, in April 2022, Sunak openly stated he wanted “to make the UK a global hub for crypto-asset technology.” 

He was also instrumental in drafting the Financial Services and Markets Bill – which is currently progressing through Parliament. If passed, it will provide the UK with a regulatory framework covering digital assets including stablecoins and other cryptos. 

However, Sunak has also previously speculated about the possible introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) – something that is the absolute antithesis of cryptocurrency. And, considering that a CBDC would actually take centralisation to new levels, many will question whether Sunak’s enthusiasm for crypto is genuine, or merely an attempt to defuse potential opposition to a CBDC. 

One thing’s for sure, with the UK facing an unprecedented energy and cost of living crisis, and the pound struggling against the dollar, Sunak has a challenge on his hands. Of course, with an estimated combined fortune of around £730M, its doubtful Mr and Mrs Sunak will feel the pain of any crisis themselves. 

So, will he embrace the crypto industry as an engine of economic growth, or usher in an Orwellian nightmare where the government controls every aspect of life, and can cancel any opposition, by exercising complete control via a CBDC?

Rishi Sunak: what challenges await Britain's new PM?