The British government has stopped Royal Mint’s plans to list a blockchain based gold token (RMG) on an unnamed crypto exchange.
The reason for the government veto is unclear, but Reuters suggests the Treasury thought it was a step too far for the wholly government owned institution to partner with a crypto exchange.
The initial plan was for the token to be listed on CME. However, after a change of leadership at CME last year, they pulled out.
The 1,100 years old institution thus turned to crypto exchanges, but the Treasury “in early 2018 refused to permit it, seeing the union as too big a gamble with the reputation of the government and the Mint,” according to Reuter’s unnamed sources.
The tokenized gold plans were announced all the way in 2016 and by late 2017 it was ready to launch. However “CME’s management changed, and they walked away, didn’t want to get involved,” according to a Reuter’s unnamed source.
This was to run on its own blockchain, rmgchain, which was not opened to the public. Making it quite centralized.
“We think RMG is the start of a global revolution. We think it’s a bit of a game changer,” Nicola Robinson, senior strategic marketing manager at the U.K.’s Royal Mint, said back in November.
The aim was to basically create a government version of Digix’s gold backed token. Royal mint was trying to adapt to the digital world following lower demand for circulating coins, so tapping into a new market.
Yet besides CME’s leadership changes, there was a government change in UK. The Brexit referendum led to the resignation of David Cameron and George Osborne, two men who now in hindsight should perhaps be credited for undertaking one of the most astute strategic move in recent history.
After the New York State came down with what was then perceived as a hammer, the British government took the microphone and effectively said they welcome the new world.
That was crystalized by Osborne being the first and remaining still the highest official to publicly buy a bitcoin, ushering in an era of Fintech when London was rising and rising.
The duo won a majority for the conservative party for the first time in four decades. The public liked Cameron, but a number of terrorist attacks kept increasing tensions with some of the fringes becoming angry. In addition, the need for a banking union between EU nations complicated Britain’s relationship with Europe.
Cameron led the campaign to remain. A divided Britain voted by a slim majority to leave. Cameron resigned. Remainer Theresa May took the lead. The conservative majority was lost in the election that followed.
Since then, Britain has been in a limbo. It’s all about Brexit, nothing else. All that hope in a London rising, all that optimism, turned into uncertainty of where Britain is going.
The current government has been colder towards this space. We doubt the Prime Minister or the Chancellor has much clue of what blockchain is or what cryptos are, while now it seems rather than the civil service it was Cameron the one that had some astute advisors.
With him leaving, Conservative Britain seems to have actually turned conservative. Unwilling to take a leap onto a new digital age. Too much risk, says the now very old woman and very old man.