The appointment of Risha Sunak as Prime Minister is good news for the adoption of cryptocurrency and FinTech in general, according to the industry.

Sunak resigned as chancellor this summer because he felt his approach to the economy was “fundamentally too different” to that of then-prime minister Boris Johnson.

A fiscal conservative, he believes in increasing productivity and empowering technology businesses to improve living standards in all areas. However, his tenure in the cabinet was characterized by crisis management as COVID-19 threatened to cause mass unemployment, leading to initiatives such as the furlough scheme that went against his basic instincts.

Once something close to normal service resumed, he and Johnson were unable to speak to each other, with the BBC’s economics editor Faisal Islam reporting that Sunak wanted to publicly discuss the impact of inflation, while No 10 preferred to borrow more and raise taxes less.

After Johnson was ousted, Sunak was seen as a credible successor, but Conservative members who saw him as disloyal chose Liz Truss. After a disastrous 44 days in office, Truss is out and Sunak is now appointed after talks with Johnson, who was considering an unlikely return.

During his tenure as Chancellor of the Exchequer under former Johnson, Sunak announced that he wanted to turn the UK into a “global hub for crypto”. He helped usher in the Financial Services and Markets Bill, which is now making its way through Parliament, and is considered a world leader in advancing the regulation of cryptocurrency and digital assets. The Royal Mint has even been commissioned to create a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“Rishi Sunak has always been outspoken about his pro-crypto stance, especially CBDCs (central bank digital currencies),” said Pavel Matsveev, CEO of UK-based FCA-regulated Wirex.

In July of this year, he promoted new legislation that would pave the way for everyday crypto payments, despite the Bank of England’s fears about the stability of the technology. Back in April, Sunak outlined his ambitions that he wanted Britain to be a “global hub” for cryptography and technology, and that stablecoins should be accepted as a form of payment.

“For this, it means that it is likely to encourage investment and the growth of businesses related to this area. We are optimistic that we can achieve this in the UK – and look forward to seeing what the government can do for the crypto sector.”

Andrew Megson, CEO of My Pension Expert, said: “In the six weeks since Rishi Sunak’s failed first bid to become Prime Minister, there has been incredible chaos. Now he has a chance to prove himself – in the biggest way possible – by putting out the fires lit during the Circuit’s 45-day reign of market crashes and embarrassing reversals.

“The stability of the market will be a priority. Sunak’s first leadership campaign was run on a promise of fiscally conservative policies, which has already pleased markets and given the pound a boost. However, it is vital that the new Prime Minister focuses on immediate safeguards for Britons struggling to stay afloat amid a spiraling cost of living crisis. Confirming his position on key policies such as the triple lock or cuts in benefits would be a step in the right direction.

“Sunak will look to get down to business and fulfill his previous promises regarding financial responsibility. However, he must balance this with appropriate support if he is to restore public confidence in their financial future and in Tory economic policy. Time will tell whether it will be so.”

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Blockchain technology to fight counterfeiting

New blockchain-based technology that protects ownership and combats the growing disease of counterfeiting has been quickly adopted by companies looking to protect themselves and their customers.

Britain’s DNA – Database of Native Assets – is officially launching its technology solution this week.

It claims to create unique digital passports that prove the authenticity and ownership of jewellery, collectibles, art, rarities and luxury items. This information is then stored on the Kadena blockchain platform.

DNA is said to be built for mass adoption and for users of all skill sets as a plug-and-play solution that eases a brand’s transition to Web3 without the need for complex blockchain infrastructure.

This week, Sotheby’s announced the sale of a very valuable Paraiba tourmaline ring from Austrian jeweler Schulin, which was verified by Native Asset DNA.

The handmade platinum ring features a 4,988 carat oval-cut Paraiba natural tourmaline and 60 baguette-cut diamonds and is valued at between £140,000 and £180,000.

“We are very impressed with what DNA has created and the solution they offer – it made sense to use the technology for the upcoming Sotheby’s sale, which features a unique piece,” said Lucas Schullin, manager of Schullin Wien.

“We’ve explored a number of digital inspection solutions in the past, but none work as efficiently and seamlessly as this one.

“For us, simplicity and ease of use is what sets it apart. The fact that it can be used by anyone makes it an ideal solution for all our customers, including those who are not very tech savvy.

“It provides the power and security of blockchain without the headache of having a cryptocurrency and a digital wallet.”

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Cryptocurrency shorts

UpsideDAO raised $5 million to invest in Web3 projects. The community fund, which uses a voting mechanism on the blockchain, will invest up to $100,000 in projects that receive the approval of 75% of participants.

Synota raised $3 million in a seed round led by Ego Death Capital. The startup, which wants to bring energy payments to Bitcoin’s Lightning Network, has also been backed by Trammell Venture Partners, Rev1 Ventures, Hivemind VC, Bitcoiner Ventures and Recursive Capital.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange has created a blockchain-based platform to expand its trading services to cryptocurrencies and other digital assets.

Sheffield based designer and 3D NFT artist Amy Kilner has launched a design house called ‘Skyhi Creative’. Claiming interest from Fatboy Slim and tech investor Stephen Bartlett, he is looking to collaborate with talent in graphic design, animation, NFT art and 3D design.

Stage Inc., creator of the meta universe creation platform Stageverse, has launched an AI-powered fashion design tool for avatars. When people enter a prompt in the Avatar Fashion Studio — like psychedelic, smiley, pink, blue — Stable Diffusion AI’s image text generator creates patterns inspired by those words. These can then be applied to their avatar’s clothing, worn in the world, shared with friends, and potentially traded as NFTs.

Crypto prices

The total market capitalization of the 21,400 coins at the time of writing (7am UK) is $932 billion, up 0.1% in the last 24 hours.

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See below for a ranking of the top 100 coins by market cap in USD plus 24-hour price change.

In Crypto: Rishi Sunak becoming PM ‘good for crypto & FinTech’