UK MPs to investigate NFTs and blockchain technology
The UK House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) Committee is set to question experts on the applications, risks, and benefits of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology in an inquiry into these emerging sectors.
Exploring NFTs in creative industries and sports
In the first panel, scheduled for April 18th, the Members of the Parliament (commonly known as MPs) will delve into NFT usage in creative industries, with possible questions focusing on their benefits, popularity, and the role of NFT marketplaces.
Additionally, the panel might explore the implementation of blockchain in the traditional art market, as well as intellectual property rights and smart contracts related to NFTs. The concept of ‘safe harbor’ protections on NFT marketplaces could also be a topic of discussion.
During the second panel, the MPs will examine the use of NFTs in sports, with questions likely targeting the prevalence of sports-related NFTs and the primary motivations behind their usage by professional sports organizations. Potential issues and the compliance of NFTs with advertising regulations may also be addressed.
This inquiry follows a previous call for evidence that took place until the 6th of January 2023, aiming to assess the risks and benefits of NFTs and blockchain for investors and the UK economy.
Meeting details and speakers
The inquiry into NFTs and blockchain technology will comprise two oral evidence sessions on April 18th. The first session, scheduled for 10:00 am, will feature Emily Gould, Assistant Director at the Institute of Art and Law; Angus Scott, Chief Executive at Artclear Ltd; and Reema Selhi, Head of Policy and International at the Design and Artists Copyright Society.
These speakers will provide their insights on NFTs in the creative industries, touching on topics such as benefits, popularity, NFT marketplaces, and blockchain’s role in the traditional art market.
The second session, scheduled for 11:15 am, will focus on the use of NFTs in sports. The panel will consist of Joey D’Urso, Investigations Writer at The Athletic, and Kieran Maguire, Senior Teacher in Accountancy at the University of Liverpool. During this session, MPs will likely address compliance with advertising regulations and the growing trend of crypto sponsorships and advertisements at sporting events.
Addressing the lack of NFT regulation in the UK
The DCMS Committee aims to determine whether retail investors, who are more vulnerable to market speculation, are at risk due to the current NFT market structure. In 2021, global NFT sales reached a staggering $17 billion, demonstrating their increasing popularity.
With NFT regulation in the UK being almost non-existent, the inquiry seeks to identify whether the country requires further regulation. The call for evidence, which concluded on January 6, 2023, asked several questions to help assess the sufficiency of the UK’s light-touch NFT regulation, potential harms to vulnerable individuals, blockchain security for British investors, and the possible societal benefits of NFT speculation.
Julian Knight, the Chairman of the DCMS Committee, commented on the volatile NFT market, expressing concerns about a potential bubble burst and emphasizing the need to comprehend the risks, benefits, and regulatory requirements of this innovative technology.