Bim Afolami takes the reins on UK crypto policy as new Economic Secretary

King Charles II has approved the appointment of Member of Parliament Bim Afolami to the position of economic secretary to the Treasury of the United Kingdom.

In a Nov. 13 notice, the U.K. government said Afolami was one of several appointments in restructuring ministers and secretaries. As economic secretary, he will control many policies affecting the adoption of digital assets and central bank digital currencies in the United Kingdom.

Under U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, former Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith promoted policies turning the country into a crypto hub, including the introduction of stablecoins. Griffith has been appointed the next minister of state in the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

The self-regulatory trade association CryptoUK said it plans to brief Afolami on how crypto could potentially contribute to the U.K. economy as well as other challenges in the sector. Afolami met with senior figures from Coinbase in June 2022, saying at the time they discussed the regulatory environment and that it was “vitally important” to have an “appropriate regulatory regime” for certain financial services.

“We look forward to working with Bim Afolami as the new Economic Secretary and as the UK government continues to deliver on its ambitions of cementing the UK as a leading global hub for cryptoassets and blockchain technology,” said a CryptoUK spokesperson. “We strongly believe that the right regulatory and competitive market can benefit both businesses and consumers.”

Related: UK passes bill to enable authorities to seize Bitcoin used for crime

The U.K. government has been addressing policies related to artificial intelligence, financial technology and the metaverse through regulation, enforcement actions and investigations. The latest shakeup in Prime Minister Sunak’s government came ahead of the next general election in the U.K., expected before 2025.

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