The year for decentralised finance and NFTs was 2021, and experts correctly predicted that sooner or later entire countries would begin adopting crypto as well as Web 3.0 technologies at an institutional level.
El Salvador famously kick-started the trend by making Bitcoin legal tender in June last year, followed by more relevant geographies such as the city of Lugano in Switzerland.
And now the UK, arguably one of the world’s most important financial hubs, has decided to launch its own NFTs.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister) Rishi Sunak has officially asked the Royal Mint to create NFTs “by the summer” and City Minister John Glen added the UK “wants to lead the way” in the Web 3.0 era, and “more details will be available soon”.
Glen said the creation of NFTs was just one of many steps to regulate and utilise digital assets, and he said the country was exploring the possibility of making stablecoins (cryptocurrencies pegged to a ‘conventional’ currency, typically the USD) legal tender.
The Royal Mint was established more than 1,100 years ago and it is a government-owned manufacturer of medals, precious bullions and coins, so this is kind of a big deal.
Most people associate NFTs – the acronym stands for non-fungible tokens – with digital art, but an NFT is essentially a line of code to which you can attach anything from official documents, to digital art and music.
It is blockchain-verified and it can’t be altered, in other words it utilises technology, not a decree or a mandate, to guarantee permanent authenticity and ownership.