Lisa Cameron, who has been a member of the United Kingdom Parliament since 2015, has not used the Bitcoin Lightning Network during her time as a lawmaker, but spends much of her time in office on digital assets.
At the Consensus 2023 conference in Austin, Texas, on April 28, Cameron said she first began advocating for crypto-related policies in the U.K. government after one of her constituent’s fell victim to a rug pull. Since then, the lawmaker has chaired the country’s Crypto and Digital Assets Group and is working with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who wants to make the U.K. a “global center for crypto asset technology.”
“I am a proponent of regulation that realizes the potential of the sector while protecting consumers,” Cameron said.
According to Cameron, the fallout from the 2022 crypto market crash has given the UK the opportunity to “take notice” of potentially bad actors in the space. Regulators have already announced severe consequences for certain crypto companies that fail to comply with regulations when advertising services to UK customers.
Although many lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. government seem to view crypto as a polarizing issue – for example, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s “anti-crypto army” – Cameron indicated that digital assets seem to be less of a partisan issue on the other side of the pond. The congresswoman reiterated Sunak’s position on making the U.K. a global center for crypto and said she has seen lawmakers from more than one party working toward that goal.
“I think in the main it’s coming collectively from a cross-party basis of wanting to overcome obstacles, make sure that we have the guidance that we need and the regulations to maintain our position.”
Cameron added that she is “not personally invested” in cryptocurrencies because she sees conflicts of interest that could affect her objectivity when it comes to legislation. However, she added that there is a system in place that allows UK lawmakers to hold digital assets.
“There will be very few people over the next decade who are not involved in this sector in some way,” Cameron said. “I don’t think members of Parliament are immune to what’s going on in the real world”.
Regulation of digital assets in the U.K. is overseen in part by the country’s Financial Conduct Authority, which is tasked with ensuring crypto companies meet anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements. The U.K. government has also launched the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which aims to regulate stablecoins and support the “safe adoption of cryptocurrencies” in the country.