Poor Rishi Sunak. The Chancellor was once the golden boy of British politics: the free-spending, Insta-loving, charm-oozing toast of the Wetherspoons' bartenders. But now Sunak has lost his shine after a disastrous three week period in which his Spring Statement was lambasted, his ratings went into free fall and he ended up being fined by the Met police after his wife's tax affairs came under scrutiny.
It was during this three-week period too that the Treasury revealed that Sunak wanted the Royal Mint to issue a 'non-fungible token' (NFT) by the summer in order to show 'the forward-looking approach we are determined to take towards cryptoassets in the UK.'
Unfortunately, in the ten weeks since the announcement, Sunak's reverse Midas touch appears to have extended to the crypto industry which is currently enduring a difficult bear market. Figures from the CryptoSlam NFT Global Sales Volume Index suggest that the volume of NFT sales around the world have now dropped from $3.7 trillion in April to less than $650 million in June so far. Average sales have fallen over that period by more than 60 per cent, according to the NonFungible market tracker.
Despite all this, Treasury sources have confirmed that an NFT with the Royal Mint is still in the works. Both a Freedom of Information request by Mr S and a parliamentary question by Tulip Siddiq have failed to elicit answers as to the cost to date. According to the Treasury: 'Ministers and officials need space in which plans, and options can be refined as a project develops, in order to ensure good decision making.'
That would make a nice change.