The UK government won't make an NFT after all
The committee said it was unwise unless constituents 'are prepared to lose all their money.'
Last year, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (then Chancellor of the Exchequer) announced that the Royal Mint would issue an official NFT (non-fungible token) as a "forward-looking approach" toward crypto. Now, with the shine well off the technology, the Treasury has announced that it's "not proceeding with the launch" after all, the BBC reported.
NFTs were still the crypto trend du jour when the government said it would create a "dynamic regulatory landscape," to nurture a bustling industry. It also planned legislation to introduce stablecoins into the country's payment infrastructure, while considering the legal status of exchanges and investment funds based around cryptocurrency.
The Treasury isn't as enthusiastic now, though, as Select Committee chair Harriet Baldwin expressed in a juicy quote: "We have not yet seen a lot of evidence that our constituents should be putting their money in these speculative tokens unless they are prepared to lose all their money. So perhaps that is why the Royal Mint has made this decision in conjunction with the Treasury."
The rejection follows a reported drop in the NFT market to the tune of 83 percent in sales in a single year. It also coincides with the failure of key crypto exchanges, particularly FTX — which saw untold sums of investor money go up in smoke.
While aware of the potential for scams, bubbles and environmental harms, UK's economic secretary at the time, John Glen, saw the NFT project as an opportunity to "get in on the ground floor" of a potential crypto industry boom. And despite the recent collapse, current economy secretary Andrew Griffiths said the department is still keeping a government backed NFT "under review."