UK needs legal framework for using crypto as collateral

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Some areas may need specialised treatment to accommodate digital assets, while the legal systems of England and Wales are well-placed to support the UK government’s attempts to bring crypto into the scope of existing legal frameworks 

A Law Commission funded by the Ministry of Justice said in a Wednesday report that the UK should create a tailored framework for using crypto as collateral.

For collateral arrangements for traditional finance, the scope of such a regime would go beyond existing UK regulations, the commission said.

For the U.K. to treat crypto assets as a new type of property, the commission also doubled down on its previous call. To advise courts on complex legal issues relating to digital assets, it also wants the government to set up “a panel of industry-specific technical experts, legal practitioners, academics, and judges”.

The report was the result of what the Law Commission of England and Wales claimed was the first ever government-commissioned analysis in the UK on how existing legal frameworks can accommodate crypto and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The independent body is made up of lawyers, judges, and professors and makes recommendations for law reform that the government could decide to take forward. The commission’s proposals don’t apply in Scotland or Northern Ireland, which have their own legal systems.

Some areas may need specialised treatment to accommodate digital assets, while the legal systems of England and Wales are well-placed to support the UK government’s attempts to bring crypto into the scope of existing legal frameworks, the Commission said in a press statement.

“The flexibility of the common law means that the legal system in England and Wales is well placed to adapt to this rapid growth,” said Professor Sarah Green, commissioner for commercial and common law, in the statement. “Our recommendations for reform and development of the law therefore seek to solidify the legal foundation for digital assets.”

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