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UK Crypto Ambitions Falter After Blow to Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives, Economic Uncertainty, and Market Shifts

Published May 3, 2024 4:00 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Published May 3, 2024 4:00 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Recent local elections in England show significant losses for the Conservative Party.
  • Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s pro-crypto stance faces challenges amid political and economic uncertainties.
  • The UK economy could experience slow growth as per an OECD forecast.

The UK’s local elections have painted a grim picture for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservatives, impacting their political standing and subsequent economic policies, including those related to crypto. The digital asset market will likely see the impact of the economic and political turmoil, denting Sunak’s crypto hub dreams. 

Conservatives Likely to Lose? 

The local elections in England could be a teaser to the forthcoming general elections with Conservatives trailing behind the Labour Party. At the time of writing, the Labour Party gained  seats to a total of over 500 councilors.

Opinion polls indicate voters shifting away from the Conservatives. It can potentially damage their prospects for future government roles before the general elections. From the 2000 seats being contested,  the Conservative Party seems to be losing at the time of publication.  


Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ambitious plans for the UK to become a global crypto hub may be threatened given current election uncertainties and economic burdens.

While the opposition has not revealed a specific crypto plan, it promises innovation. Labour plans  to position the UK as a global leader in financial technology. It wants to foster innovation through regulatory sandboxes, AI, securities tokenization, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

UK’s Economic Woes Dampen Crypto 

The Bank of England is expected  to keep the interest rates steady at 5.25% in May. Along with the inflationary pressure, the economic outlook remains bleak. Recently, the OECD has downgraded  the UK’s growth forecasts, predicting it will have the second weakest growth in the G7, following Germany.

An economic slowdown and regulatory challenges could dampen enthusiasm for implementing a crypto infrastructure, given the UK’s projected growth outlook of 0.4% for 2024.

Instead, the government is actively strengthening its capacity to manage crypto assets.In response to the escalating use of cryptocurrencies in criminal activities, the UK government has recently enhanced the legal framework to intensify oversight and enforcement against its misuse.

The new set of regulations empowers the National Crime Agency (NCA) and local police forces to seize, freeze, and even destroy cryptoassets that are believed to be linked to criminal activities. The measures follow a marked increase in the use of digital currencies for money laundering.

UK government’s recent stability report  categorized crypto-asset companies as highly susceptible to financial crimes, ranking them alongside traditional financial sectors.

UK’s Crypto Plans in Upheaval

The global economic climate and domestic political shifts are influencing the UK’s crypto ambitions. With the general elections looming, and Labour predicted to win, there may be changes in how crypto policies are shaped

Unlike Conservatives led by Sunak, Labour’s potential approach to private cryptocurrency regulation remains less clear. Although, the opposition is counting on fintech and AI developments to sweep the polls. After 13 years of Conservative rule, Keir Starmer’s Labour is now ahead in the polls.

UK’s macroeconomic troubles amplify for crypto as stricter regulations might present a challenge for the sector. The coming months will be crucial ito find out whether the UK can align its political and economic frameworks to continue its pursuit of a crypto hub. 

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