UK voters call for candidates to consider crypto as election looms

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On July 4, residents of the United Kingdom will vote on whether to keep the Conservative Party in control of government or choose Labour as the primary governing party for the first time in 14 years.

Ahead of the anticipated election, most polls suggested that the Labour Party under Keir Starmer could replace the Conservatives under Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. A shakeup in leadership will likely affect how the U.K. government handles policies and legislation in cryptocurrency and blockchain, and voters have taken notice.

According to a survey commissioned by digital asset platform Zumo between June 7 and 11, roughly one-third of 3,124 adults between the ages of 18 and 34 in the U.K. said they were concerned about the future of crypto in the country. Roughly the same percentage said U.K. lawmakers should consider the growth of the industry.

The poll suggested that this opinion was partly based on some crypto-friendly Members of Parliament (MPs) “standing down” — i.e., leaving the government after the election. Lisa Cameron, the MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, who has advocated for many pro-crypto policies, said in October that she would not be standing at the general election.

Election means delays

Under Sunak, the U.K. government initially announced plans to present a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and payment stablecoins in July — but that was before the prime minister surprised many with the date of the general election. 

“After the election, it will take time to gauge the next government’s stance on crypto,” said Eleanor Gaywood, head of strategy at U.K.-based crypto firm Coincover. “It’s encouraging that both major parties support pro-innovation regulatory frameworks, but we need tangible plans.”

Neither Starmer nor Sunak mentioned crypto or blockchain in their last televised debate on June 26. However, with polls suggesting Labour could take the reins, some crypto executives are reportedly cozying up to party officials, including Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves and Shadow City Minister Tulip Siddiq.

Related: UK election on July 4: What would Labour Party win mean for crypto?

Across the pond in the United States, major party candidates are dealing with the fallout of political controversies, court rulings and debate performances. After a June 27 debate with Donald Trump, reports have suggested that U.S. President Joe Biden does not plan to drop out of the race but may be exploring the possibility. The U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion on July 1 claiming that Trump had immunity from prosecution over “official acts” while president, which delayed the sentencing hearing for his conviction on 34 felonies.

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