The United Kingdom Treasury has shelved plans to develop a government-backed non-fungible token (NFT) aimed at making the country a digital assets hub.
The country’s Economic Secretary, Andrew Griffith, revealed in a statement this week that the official maker of the country’s coins, the Royal Mint, is not pushing through with the NFT plan.
“In consultation with HM Treasury, the Royal Mint is not proceeding with the launch of a Non-Fungible Token at this time but will keep this proposal under review,” Griffith stated in response to an inquiry by West Midlands lawmaker Harriet Baldwin, who also chairs the Treasury Select Committee.
The project dates back to April 2022 when Rishi Sunak, who was the then-Chancellor of the Exchequer, directed the Royal Mint to develop the NFT. It was dubbed “an emblem of the forward-looking approach” the country was determined to take to become a global digital assets hub.
Almost immediately after, opposition legislators criticized the project and called on the government to reveal how much the scheme would cost the taxpayers.
In the one year since, Rishi Sunak has ascended to the Prime Minister’s position and toned down his fervent push for digital asset adoption. The Royal Mint has not made any move toward creating the NFT, with this week’s pronouncement being perceived as the last nail in the NFT project’s coffin.
Treasury’s decision to axe the NFT project received bipartisan praise, with Baldwin saying that the project failed to garner any interest.
“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,” she stated.
Tulip Siddiq, a London legislator who has been opposed to the project since it was announced, welcomed the decision, claiming it was a waste of taxpayer money.
As I say here, Rishi Sunak should never have been wasting money on this gimmick in the first place.
Under the Tories, millions of people's savings have been put at risk by the collapse of cryptocurrencies and the surge in scams. We need a new approach.https://t.co/UKTTyjqdxM
— Tulip Siddiq (@TulipSiddiq) March 28, 2023
“I’m glad that the Royal Mint has finally made the Conservatives see sense, but we’ve been calling on the chancellor to drop this crypto gimmick for months. This out-of-touch government should be focused on the cost of living crisis, not wasting time and taxpayers’ money on an NFT vanity project and promoting dodgy stablecoins,” she stated.
Watch: Buzzmint: Elevating NFTs
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