Why the UK government shelved Royal Mint NFT plans
- The UK Treasury has dropped plans to launch NFTs issued by the Royal Mint.
- The NFT venture was introduced by PM Rishi Sunak last year.
Plans for a non-fungible token [NFT] venture, which was supposed to be backed by the government of the United Kingdom, have been dropped by the country’s Treasury. The venture was pitched by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in April 2022, when he served as the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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NFT proposal to be under review
Harriet Baldwin, a member of parliament, sent an inquiry to the UK Treasury earlier this month regarding the status of the proposed NFTs.
The inquiry simply stated that it aimed to:
“Ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it remains the policy of his Department that the Royal Mint issue a Non Fungible Token.”
Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith responded that after consulting the Treasury, the Royal Mint has decided not to proceed with the launch of an NFT. Griffith added that the proposal will be kept under review. The NFT was supposed to be launched in the summer of 2022.
Harriet Balwin, who also serves as the chair of the Treasury Select Committee, said:
“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.”
Rishi Sunak had set the NFT plan in motion last year, describing it as “NFT for Britain”. The government’s foray into web3 came amid rising interest in the sector last year, right before the events that triggered the crypto contagion of 2022.
Sunak, at the time:
“We want to see the [cryptocurrency] businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.”