While it is current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who became particularly known as a vocal advocate of crypto during his tenure as the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, one of his predecessors in the role has also thrown his weight behind crypto in recent times, declaring it to be “here to stay”.
This is as reported by Yahoo Finance UK, which lately featured no less than Philip Hammond – Chancellor under then-Prime Minister Theresa May from 2016 to 2019 – on its show The Crypto Mile.
While Mr Hammond was better known during his time in Downing Street as a fiscally disciplined conservative than a politician who looked to the latest innovations, he has since become involved in cryptocurrencies, Web3 innovations, and digital asset infrastructure.
That has included – since 2021 – serving as a senior advisor for a crypto custody firm in London, before becoming chair of the company this year.
“Blockchain has the potential to have big advantages for markets”
Mr Hammond said to the show: “The crypto market is here to stay, and it is not really for regulators or others to say this asset or that asset has no value, an asset has value if someone is prepared to pay for it.
“But, if there is a marketplace to be made, then it needs to be properly regulated, and I am quite comfortable for an institutional market for cryptocurrency assets.”
The former Second Lord of the Treasury expressed the view that the digital assets class would eventually broaden to include the tokenised form of many traditional financial assets.
A traditional financial asset – such as stocks, bonds, real estate, or even a work of art – can be said to be “tokenised” when the ownership and rights associated with that asset are converted into digital tokens, which can subsequently be traded and managed on blockchain platforms.
It is expected by proponents that as blockchain technology in general comes to be more widely adopted, the tokenisation of financial assets will also gain in popularity.
This could bring about such benefits as heightened liquidity through fractional ownership, enhanced efficiency thanks to instant trading on a 24/7 basis, and lower costs due to the elimination of intermediaries. Blockchain technology could also help deliver improved security, and truly global access for investors who do not find themselves limited by geographical restrictions.
Mr Hammond observed: “Everyone recognises that blockchain has the potential to have big advantages for markets.
“If we are right and this is the beginning of a digitisation process across the whole of financial services, the blockchain infrastructure that underlies it will become part of the systemically important rails of the financial services industry.”
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