Category Archives: FCA

Auto Added by WPeMatico

UK Crypto Plan Under Review

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it plans to release the results of its task force on cryptocurrency in the summer.

One of the functions of the UK government’s task force is to examine the risks of blockchain technology and mitigate these while examining the benefits of distributed ledger technology in financial services. The Crypto Assets Task  Force, consisting of the UK Treasury and the FCA, has been set up for this purpose.

Chancellor Hammond’s comments at a recent Fintech conference in Australia demonstrate that the UK would open its doors to innovators and inventors, suggesting the task force as a first step towards automating financial compliance in the UK. In the context of the fintech sector, he saw it being able to “grow and flourish” in a regulatory climate that has broadly been supportive of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies over the years.

The FCA suggests that cryptocurrencies are “an area of increasing interest for markets and regulators globally”. The discussion paper to be published this year should clarify Bank of England and Treasury views on which direction to take regarding cryptocurrency regulation.

On Friday, the authority clarified that firms offering cryptocurrency services would need to comply with new guidelines set or be prosecuted under the law. Treasury committee chair, Nicky Morgan, also made it clear that its own ongoing enquiry into cryptocurrencies would examine some of the risks and threats posed to UK consumers, as well as businesses and governments, by digital currencies.

Morgan pointed out, on a more positive note, that the committee would “examine the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies and the technology underpinning them, how they can create innovative opportunities”.

Committee member Alison McGovern suggested that the inquiry would help lawmakers and politicians educate themselves on cryptocurrencies before enforcing legislation on how the industry should conduct its business. She suggested that the UK government needed a clearer understanding of cryptocurrencies and to think more clearly about “the policy environment for blockchain technology”.

 

The post UK Crypto Plan Under Review appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

UK Financial Conduct Authority Warns Firms About Crypto Derivatives

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning to firms that deal with cryptocurrency derivatives, as they likely require authorization from the agency to do business.

Posted Friday on the official FCA website, the statement advised that cryptocurrency derivatives have the qualities necessary to be considered tradeable assets. As the statement reads, this means that firms involved with regulated activities using cryptocurrency derivatives are subject to FCA guidelines, as well as any relevant provisions indirectly applicable to European Union regulations.

Despite the FCA declining to acknowledge cryptocurrencies as either currencies or commodities in regards to regulation, the statement notes that it is ”likely” that firms offering cryptocurrency derivatives require authorization to do so.

This would potentially require companies holding initial coin offerings (ICOs) to comply with the FCA guidelines, although the statement noted that this would depend on the nature of the token offered.

Other areas outlined that would fall within the FCA’s regulatory parameters include cryptocurrency futures, cryptocurrency contracts for differences (CFDs) and cryptocurrency options.

The final warning of the statement precautioned firms that neglecting to authorize activities under the FCA’s regulation is a criminal offense. The statement finished, ”Authorized firms offering these products without the appropriate permission may be subject to enforcement action.”.

The FCA on the industry

In 2016, the FCA said that there were no plans in place to regulate the blockchain industry for the time being, as it needed what it described as space to develop.

However, the agency has been outspoken on its unfavorable view towards cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Chief executive of the FCA Andrew Bailey said in December 2017 that Bitcoin investors must be prepared to ” lose all your money”. He compared cryptocurrency investments as similar to gambling.

December 2017 also saw the FCA announce a further study into ICOs, scheduled to determine if there was a need for further regulatory action depending on the applicability of UK laws to the investment model of ICOs.

 

The post UK Financial Conduct Authority Warns Firms About Crypto Derivatives appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Weekly Bitcoin and Blockchain News Roundup: Europe, 12 to 18 March 2018

Europe

13 March 2018

The European Central Bank (ECB) executive board member Benoit Coeure and Bank of International Settlements Markets Committee chair Jacqueline Loh wrote that “Bitcoin has put the spotlight on an old failing of our current system: cross-border retail payments.”, urging current banking and financial systems to improve as the best way to “rise to the Bitcoin challenge”.

14 March 2018

Bloomberg reported that Allianz Global Investors, Europe’s biggest insurer’s investment arm, has dismissed Bitcoin as worthless. It does concede that blockchain technology harbours massive potential for investors.

 

Kranj, Slovenia

13 March 2018

The Slovenian city of Kranj have built what it claims to be the “first blockchain monument” in the world. Placed at a roundabout in the city center, it features the familiar Bitcoin logo which can be viewed overhead.

 

The Hague, Netherlands

13 March 2018

Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra called upon the parliament to warn that current supervision and regulatory frameworks in the Netherlands were still insufficiently equipped. The minister revealed that he would actively work in a European context, but that the approach would require a European and international approach.

 

London, UK

14 March 2018

Coinbase UK received an e-money license from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), effective from 21 March 2018. Essentially, Coinbase customers are now allowed to store their e-money on Coinbase UK accounts, enabling more payment options for them in the UK. The license, however, would not cover cryptocurrency activities.

 

Paris, France

15 March 2018

French regulators Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) published a blacklist of 15 crypto-related France-based companies soliciting investments from the public. These companies contravened the new “Sapin II” Law No. 2016-1691 of 9 December 2016 on “transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life”.

16 March 2018

The same AMF will be working together with its government as France aims to create its first guidelines through which enterprises could legally raise venture capital through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs). Among some of the proposals include a visa issued to companies wishing to conduct ICOs, giving them official government approval.

 

Vilnius, Lithuania

16 March 2018

The Bank of Lithuania put out a call for tender for a proposal for software developers from around the world to assist it with developing its LBChain blockchain platform. It aims to help businesses to trial and implement sophisticated financial tech innovations.

The post Weekly Bitcoin and Blockchain News Roundup: Europe, 12 to 18 March 2018 appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.