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HomeBitcoin NewsThe UK's James Wharton Thrashed Over Alleged Crypto Ties

The UK’s James Wharton Thrashed Over Alleged Crypto Ties

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James Wharton – a former campaign manager to Boris Johnson that’s now leading an education quango – is being questioned over his alleged ties to a crypto lobbying firm.

James Wharton Criticized for Ties to Crypto

Wharton presently leads an organization known as the Office for Students (OFS). However, he’s also launched a new public affairs company designed to help clients “navigate the complexities” of Westminster. He also provides legal counseling on regulated sectors.

That company – known as North Point Strategy – is managing a group called the UK Crypto Asset Business Council (UKCBC). It emerged a few years back and began working in the lobbying sector while trying to build connections within the UK Parliament. The main goal of the UKCBC is to establish the United Kingdom as a leading crypto hub.

Among the tactics it’s undertaken to create this future have been writing to both civil servants and ministers and meeting with Treasury officials. Wharton was appointed to the organization about two years ago in 2021, but his attachment to the group is now being criticized by the UK Labor Party, which says Wharton is placing his own interests above those involved in education (people he’s purportedly trying to help through the quango mentioned above).

Matt Western – the shadow minister for higher education with the Labor Party – explained:

This is the latest in a long line of examples of the chair of the Office for Students putting his political interests above the interests of students. Students rightly expect swift action from the independent regulator on matters that affect them the most. It is less than clear how Lord Wharton’s additional commitment helps further those interests.

Over the past several months, crypto has taken a new lead on regulators’ priorities lists in the UK. Not long ago, it was believed that crypto trading should fall under the same rules and guidelines that apply to gambling. In other words, buying bitcoin, in lawmakers’ eyes, was a lot like sitting down and betting one’s money at a blackjack table, a metaphor that has been criticized by many.

The main idea behind the gambling comparison, however, stems from regulators’ blatant feelings that crypto assets like bitcoin have no intrinsic value and are very risky endeavors.

The UK Is Leading the Way to Crypto Regulation

After the UKCBC’s work with the Treasury came to public attention, a Treasury spokesperson emerged and issued the following statement:

Government officials have consulted with well over 50 crypto organizations, including one meeting with UKCBC, to ensure our new crypto asset regulatory regime achieves robust, transparent, and fair standards.

Following the disastrous fall of FTX last November, the United Kingdom became one of the first regions in the world to get serious about crypto regulation and impose strict new laws designed to regulate trading and keep investors protected.

Nick Marinoff
Nick Marinoffhttps://www.livebitcoinnews.com/
Nick Marinoff is currently a lead news writer and editor for Money & Tech, a San Francisco-based broadcasting station that reports on all things digital currency-related. He has also written for a number of other online and print publications including Black Impact Magazine, EKT Interactive, Seal Beach USA and Benzinga.com, to name a few. He has recently published his first e-book "Take a 'Loan' Off Your Shoulders: 14 Simple Tricks for Graduating Debt Free" now available on Amazon. He is excited about the potential digital currency offers, particularly its ability to finance unbanked populations and bring nations together financially.

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