Category Archives: FCA

Auto Added by WPeMatico

UK’s FCA Continues Clampdown on Unauthorized Exchanges

FCA, UK, exchanges

The UK financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is continuing its probe into the activities of unauthorized cryptocurrency firms.

According to information received to a freedom of information request by The Sunday Telegraph, the FCA had opened inquiries into as many as 67 cryptocurrency related inquiries since the middle of November. 49 of these inquiries are now closed, with 39 consumer alerts being issued to companies operating without authorization. The other 10 have received warnings.

Currently, 18 cryptocurrency related lines of inquiry are still under review following the FCA’s statement cautioning the public earlier this year that cryptocurrency CFDs such as the popular options offered by eToro, were “extremely high-risk, speculative products”. Companies dealing in cryptocurrency related investments in the UK still require rubber-stamping by the FCA before a license to operate is issued.

The FCA has declined to comment on the investigation into the remaining 18 cases. The UK regulator has already revealed its intention to be tough on the cryptocurrency market since digital money is a part of the financial market and subject to the same level of scrutiny. There is already a discussion on banning specific crypto financial instruments, such as Bitcoin futures.

FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard cited “integrity issues” as a reason for also considering placing a ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in an event in London on the 20th of November.

The focus, according to Woolard, would be on what the FCA has called “cryptocurrency contracts-for-difference (CFDs)” which would likely cover “options, futures and transferable securities,” with concerns that “retail consumers are being sold complex, volatile and often leveraged derivatives products based on exchange tokens with underlying market integrity issues”.

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post UK’s FCA Continues Clampdown on Unauthorized Exchanges appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

UK’s FCA Discusses Derivatives Ban Despite 3 Million Crypto Users

The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has cited “integrity issues” as a reason for considering placing a ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in an event in London of 20 November.

The comments were made by the FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard, addressing invited guests at the Regulation of Cryptocurrencies event in the capital.

The UK government’s Cryptoassets Task Force met for the first time on 21 May as part of the country’s plan to regulate the cryptocurrency and blockchain space and since then has been reporting back its findings regarding the regulation of cryptocurrency in the UK.

One of the functions of the task force is to examine the risks of blockchain technology and mitigate these while examining the benefits of ledger technology in financial services. The Cryptoassets Task Force comprises representatives from the UK Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The idea of a ban is a recent development only surfacing last month for the first time, among criticism that the UK had been slow in addressing the growth of cryptocurrency adoption in the UK without adequate safeguards and guiding legislation for the industry.

The focus, according to Woolard, would be on what the FCA has called “cryptocurrency contracts-for-difference (CFDs)” which would be likely to cover “options, futures and transferable securities”. He mentioned in his speech that UK’s regulators were particularly concerned “…that retail consumers are being sold complex, volatile and often leveraged derivatives products based on exchange tokens with underlying market integrity issues”.

In their findings, the task force had categorized CFD’s into three types, Woolard noted, constituting “exchange tokens” such as Bitcoin (BTC), security tokens and utility tokens. He also noted that in case of unauthorized use of tokens, the FCA could initiate what he termed as “one of the most comprehensive responses globally to the use of crypto assets for illicit activities”.

Despite the FCA’s comments regarding the future of derivatives at the event, many surveys continue to illustrate Britons’ growing awareness and use of cryptocurrencies with 15.8 million UK residents owning or considering Bitcoin. A July study revealed up to 3 million people have invested in Bitcoin in the country through online trading platforms.

The technology behind cryptocurrencies is burgeoning in the UK. The country is known as a driving force in blockchain research and the spread of solutions is being utilized by numerous companies, as the country becomes one of the world’s most significant and dynamic fintech hubs.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post UK’s FCA Discusses Derivatives Ban Despite 3 Million Crypto Users appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

Winklevoss Twins and Gemini Glimpse Crypto Horizon in UK

Gemini and the Winklevoss twins are looking ahead to the UK as their next lucrative cryptocurrency landscape.

The entrepreneurial crypto brothers, having recently been knocked back by the SEC after their own ETF submission was turned down, have at least have received some recent success in getting a rubber stamp from the NY regulators for the company’s new stablecoin. Two firms, Gemini Trust Company, and the Paxos Trust Company are the first stablecoin providers to receive the go-ahead to list on exchanges in New York State.

Now it appears that the brothers are “crossing the pond” with their latest venture. Those close to the company have reported that Gemini has already taken the step to hire consultants to advise on an approach to move into the UK. London is currently the European financial epicenter, although many companies are now awaiting the final outcome of Brexit talks, and some have even already moved from London to Germany and France in anticipation of a negative result in which no deal between the UK and Brussels is reached.

This has clearly done little to dissuade Gemini as it plans to file an application with the UK’s equivalent of the SEC, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to the Financial Times.

If a move does materialize, Gemini’s made competitor will become San Francisco-based exchange giant Coinbase who are now well established in the UK as the main provider of crypto-related services to UK residents. Coinbase has recently expanded the offerings on its UK platform, enabling easier withdrawals from UK Coinbase sterling accounts to English banks and forming a partnership with major English bank, Barclays, to simplify its platform for users.

The UK market is still being monitored by the FCA but there have been recent calls for tighter regulatory measures called for by MPs. The FCA has recently asserted that it would not “rule out roles for crypto-assets themselves”, an approach far from calling for a ban or restriction on trading operations. However, the situation is ongoing without any real decisions taken as yet by the Crypto-Assets Task Force set up earlier this year in May.

The most recent noises out of Westminster concerning cryptocurrencies is that MPs want the FCA to look at digital currencies “as a matter of urgency”, suggesting that no new asset class is structured around the technology but that EU AML laws are enforced along with KYC checks.

The Gemini move may offer challenges in a vibrant and lucrative UK market, but the benefits may be worth the risks. The UK experiment has certainly worked for Coinbase who now plan to move into Ireland. Gemini is currently 61st in global rankings.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post Winklevoss Twins and Gemini Glimpse Crypto Horizon in UK appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

UK Treasury Seeks Regulatory Scope for “Wild West” Crypto Markets

A report published by the United Kingdom Treasury Committee has called for the “Wild West” crypto-asset market to be regulated.

Positive outlook

The committee, which is comprised of Members of Parliament (MPs), has begun to push lawmakers to begin addressing the numerous risks that it has identified in its report on crypto-assets, published on 19 September.

Summarily, the report acknowledges that cryptocurrencies and “most” initial coin offerings (ICOs) do not fall within the remit of the UK’s financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) who, in August, established an international regulatory network for financial innovations.

Having assessed the benefits, limitations and risks posed by digital currencies, as well as the present regulatory landscape with special consideration to the voluntary self-regulating bodies within the crypto-asset industry, the Treasury Committee said:

“As the Government and regulators decide whether the current Wild West situation is allowed to continue, or whether they are going to introduce regulation, consumers remain unprotected. The Committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced. At a minimum, regulation should address consumer protection and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).”

The committee wishes to see the FCA have more legal powers in this area, enabling it to “execute its duties of protecting consumers and maintaining market integrity”.

Additionally, the report mentions that cryptocurrency exchanges are not currently included in AML regulations; this a factor that it believes contributes to the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit activities.

In discussion

It was recently reported that FCA chief Andrew Bailey was in favor of a “balanced approach” to the cryptocurrency industry, claiming that the FCA was eager to explore blockchain technologies.

With regards to the UK blockchain industry, Lord Bates, Minister of State at the Department for International Development, recently said that the government had not yet formally assessed the implications of the present bear market on domestic blockchain enterprise.

This came in response to a colleague who questioned whether or not such an assessment had been made during a parliamentary meeting.

The Treasury Report reflects these concerns with its remarks on market volatility, highlighting the 2017 market highs compared to the present lows, writing, “Investors are exposed to large potential gains, but correspondingly a greater risk of loss. Accordingly, investors should be prepared to lose all their money.”

Regulation race

The Treasury Committee reports that “the introduction of regulation should be treated as a matter of urgency” in order to protect consumers and investors from “growing risks”. ICOs are high on the list of priorities also, as the FCA can do little to protect individuals from financial losses.

Furthermore, at an industrial level, the report acknowledges that supply chain management and financial services had been implementing blockchain into their systems, although this should be pursued as  a joint effort between government and industry to “identify what problems exist and consider whether blockchain offers the most appropriate solution”.

Among many other facets of the industry developments and international regulation efforts, the report is positive that should the UK create a “proportionate regulatory environment” for cryptocurrencies and all related blockchain technologies, it will continue to be a potential global hub for the industry.

 

Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @bitcoinnewscom

Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews

Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? – View our Media Kit PDF here.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay

The post UK Treasury Seeks Regulatory Scope for “Wild West” Crypto Markets appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.