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Philip Hammond appointed chair of crypto firm Copper

Hammond crypto
Image credit: Sovastock via Shutterstock

Former chancellor Philip Hammond has called for the UK to move faster with crypto policy after being appointed as the chair of the London-based digital asset unicorn Copper.

The ex-politician, who served as chancellor under Theresa May, told the Financial Times that the UK needs to catch up with other European countries when it comes to crypto, following his recent appointment as chair of Copper.

Hammond said that the UK should be leading the crypto sector as a “post-Brexit” opportunity, pointing to the progress already made by European nations.

“Switzerland is further ahead. The EU is also moving faster. There has to be appetite to take some measured risk,” he told the FT.

Hammond called for the UK to introduce “better, more effective” crypto regulation to catch up.

The UK has yet to introduce its crypto regulatory framework but has held several inquiries and consultations on the subject.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has in the past voiced support for making the UK a global cryptoasset hub, a goal which is said to include the implementation of a Bank of England-backed stablecoin. Details of both the ‘digital pound’ and the wider regulation remain limited.

The appointment of Hammond to Mayfair-based Copper marks the latest in a series of Conservative figures taking on positions at cryptoasset companies. Tory peer Lord Vaizey and MP and brother of Boris Johnson, Jo Johnson have both held advisory positions at Binance, though the latter has since stepped down.

Founded in 2018, Copper acts as a bridge between traditional finance firms and the crypto industry. Its services include risk management for institutional investors putting money into digital assets.

Copper currently holds a $2bn valuation after a number of high-profile investments from backers including Barclays and Tiger Global Management.