Rishi Sunak, the newest UK Prime Minister standing outside of 10 Downing Street with a Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Prime Minister, Rates The Bored Ape Yacht Club

2 min read

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Rishi Sunak may be down with the cool kids. In footage that has recently resurfaced on social media, the UK’s newest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — the country’s third PM in two months — has declared his favour for Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs over CryptoPunks.

Footage of Sunak answering some quick fire “either or” questions related to crypto recently did the rounds on Twitter, giving us a glimpse into the new PM’s relatively broad understanding of various crypto projects.

Sunak dodged the question where the interviewer asked him to choose between “Itherium” (how Brits say Ethereum apparently) or “Bitcoin”, instead saying that he owns a “basket of cryptocurrency”. 

Why does Sunak’s preference for Bored Apes matter?

How many world leaders could you show a Bored Ape and a CryptoPunk to and ask them to tell the difference? Exactly. 

Essentially, what’s happening here is: the UK has a crypto-friendly PM, who — at least on the surface — has some idea of the various subcultures associated with it, which is already being construed by many as a good sign for the future of cryptocurrency in the UK. 

Carlos Gomez, the Chief Investment Officer at Belobaba Crypto Asset Fund told The Chainsaw that regardless of whether voters are Tory or Labour, the newfound stability provided by Sunak’s appointment is a positive sign for crypto moving forward in the UK. 

“He expressed his intention to transform the UK into a crypto hub back then when he was Treasurer,” Carlos said. 

“If he continues with his line of thinking, he could influence and push now as PM some serious but positive regulatory reforms.”

Carlos Gomez

Sunak has already made several pro-crypto moves while serving as the Chancellor of the Exchequer (the nation’s chief finance minister) under Boris Johnson. In April last year Sunak suggested that the Bank of England put together a task force to explore the idea of a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

More recently, Rishi Sunak requested that the nation’s 1,136 year-old coin maker, The Royal Mint, get a Web3 update, which saw the institution introduce an NFT project. 

Crypto friendly

It’s also quite likely that Rishi Sunak will appoint a new Chancellor of the Exchequer that shares his crypto-friendly views. 

Yesterday, following the G7’s new report on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), Sunak appeared in a video that sought to explain the benefits of these digital currencies.

CBDCs are pretty polarising in the crypto space. Many members of the crypto community find the idea of an inherently centralised central bank digital currency to be fundamentally opposed to the core ethos of the cryptocurrency movement: decentralisation. 

The problem with CBDCs, say critics, is that it would allow governments to exercise a concerning amount of control over the financial habits of their citizens, and essentially become another method of commanding authority over everyday people.

Regardless of what happens with the development of CBDCs, doubts around long-term stability still hang heavy in the air over Rishi Sunak and he will have to work hard to convince both British Parliament and the general public that he can handle the pressure that comes with leading an economically unstable Britain on the world stage.