UK treasury confirmed ending plans to issue government-backed NFTs making the pursuit of the April 2022 proposals doubtful. A recent statement from the treasury indicates that plans initiated by Royal Mints would not prioritize advancing the proposal.
Royal Mint Suspends NFT Project
The Royal Mint indicated that suspending the project would provide reasonable time to review the proposal’s viability. The plans announced in April 2022 are set to leverage the government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) to transform the UK into a global crypto hub.
The cancellation marks retraction by the Rishi Sunak administration on a project suggested when serving as the country’s chancellor in April 2022. Also featured in Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s proposals was the release of digital coins.
The project scheduled for completion by Summer 2022 confronted various delays. It rekindles past debates where Royal Mint would, in 2017, tease the crypto community with plans to apply blockchain technology when tracking the gold supply.
Treasury Reviewing Viability of Government-Backed NFTs
The communication conveyed by the UK economic secretary Andrew Griffith on Monday, March 27, indicated that the halt was healthy for the detailed review of the project’s future. The Treasury Select Committee chair, Harriet Baldwin, echoed Griffith’s pronouncement on the future NFTs project. The chair added that it was necessary to suspend to ascertain if the treasury department’s NFT issuance was a mandate.
As reported by BBC, Baldwin’s statement cited that the prevailing economic uncertainty made new projects unviable to launch in support of the Royal Mint’s decision. Baldwin observed that the crypto sector had witnessed multiple NFTs collections sunset. The decline translates to the loss of economic value for NFTs holders.
NFTs Considered Speculative to Pursue
Baldwin dismissed the viability of pursuing government-backed NFTs now by citing the absence of evidence where the speculative tokens are yielding value for holders. Instead, the Treasury Select chair indicates the investment loss is bound to occur. She adds that such awareness perhaps convinced the Royal Mint to suspend the project.
The UK’s decision contrasts the move by other governments who portray the willingness to embrace NFTs. Japan, in October 2022, revealed advanced plans to invest in digital transformation that would integrate metaverse services and NFTs. China abandoned its strict crypto regulations stance by launching the NFT marketplace in January 2023.
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