UK Regulator’s Temporary Crypto Registration List Drops to 5 Firms

The Treasury also said it planned to consult on regulating a much wider range of digital currencies later this year, without saying which they might be. So-called "stablecoins" will become recognised forms of payment to give people confidence in using digital currencies, it said. Bitcoin is created through a process called mining, which involves using computing power to solve mathematical puzzles on the Bitcoin network. Every time a new block is added to the blockchain, new Bitcoins enter circulation. The participants (nodes) who solve the computational puzzle receive some Bitcoin as a reward for contributing their computing power to the Bitcoin network. However, the detailed rules will need to be written and consulted upon by the FCA so the full extent and impact of the framework will take a while to be realised.

Are cryptocurrency firms regulated in the UK

Those include regulations around KYC (Know-Your-Customer), AML (Anti-Money Laundering) and CFT (Combatting the Financing of Terrorism). Standard Digital includes access to a wealth of global news, analysis and expert opinion. Premium Digital includes access to our premier business column, Lex, as well as 15 curated newsletters covering key business themes with original, in-depth reporting. Seizure powers offer a means to preserve the value of assets pending the outcome of investigations or asset recovery proceedings.

This is likely to mean that crypto native firms (those firms whose business is primarily in cryptoassets) will need to become fully authorised and supervised by the FCA. Existing traditional finance or `tradfi' firms will be able to expand their permissions to undertake cryptoasset activities. Since 8 October 2023, firms wishing to promote cryptoassets in the UK must, by law, be authorised or registered by the FCA, or have their marketing approved by an authorised firm. Under FCA rules, promotions must also be clear, fair and not misleading, labelled with prominent risk warnings and must not inappropriately incentivise people to invest.

The UK recently has adopted the Travel Rule requirement to its regulation of crypto asset service providers. The Travel Rule requires crypto companies to obtain information from the sender and receiver of crypto assets and share it with counterparty crypto asset service providers. Meanwhile, firms that provide any service related to the defined crypto assets must obtain approval from regulatory authorities in an EU country.

Firms will now also need to conduct adequate due diligence on those persons to whom they are marketing and ensure their promotions are fair, clear, and not misleading. 5) The beneficiary VASP must report repeated failure by a crypto-asset business to provide any information required as well as any steps the crypto-asset business of the beneficiary has taken in respect of such failures to the FCA. For certain transactions equal or exceeding 1,000 euros, there are some additional requirements. This includes international transfers as well as transactions involving unhosted wallets. Must quickly choose how closely it replicates or diverges from MiCA,” Nicholas du Cros, head of compliance and regulatory affairs at CoinShares, a leading digital asset management firm in Europe, said in an email to CoinDesk.

We expect firms doing business with cryptoasset firms to check against this list and to make sure that they have sufficient due diligence and money laundering controls in place to manage the risks posed by their customers. 1IOSCO defines DeFi as “the provision of financial products, services, arrangements and activities that use DLT to disintermediate and decentralise legacy ecosystems by eliminating the need for some traditional financial intermediaries and centralized institutions”. As such, DeFi allows for user-directed, non-custodial economic transactions via smart contracts.2Layer 1 staking is when a participant `locks up' cryptoassets for a set period of time to help support the operation of the blockchain. Blockchains that have consensus mechanisms based on proof-of-stake, require validators or `stakers' to provide capital (generally in the form of the blockchain's native token) to the public network. These `stakers' are incentivised to do so as they receive fees and newly minted tokens as a reward for producing new blocks and securing the network, proportional to the amount they have staked. This process also disincentivises bad actors from acting against the interest of the system as their own capital is at risk.

Government is also carving out exemptions for associations of high-net-worth or sophisticated investors and promotions in association with the sale of goods and supply of services, unless an exemption applies under the FSMA (Financial Promotion) Order 2005 (“FPO”). Has not, thus far, taken the course the U.S. has (i.e. forcing cryptocurrency companies to register their tokens as securities), with these new rules, the U.K. Is effectively creating a disclosure regime which will regulate the conduct of any person who markets cryptocurrencies to U.K. The second are “custodian wallet providers,” which provide services to safeguard and/or administer crypto assets—or private cryptographic keys for holding, storing, or transferring crypto assets—on behalf of customers. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency taxes in the UK are different between individuals and businesses. HM Revenue & Customs acknowledges crypto’s “unique identity”, meaning that the asset class is unable to be compared to traditional investments/payments, and tax rates are applied based upon the activities/entities involved.

Bybit has said it will no longer accept new UK user account applications from October 1. Starting October 8, the date when the new rules come into force, existing UK users can no longer "make any new deposits, create new contracts or increase any of their existing positions for all products and services," the firm added. Users should reduce or close their positions and withdraw their funds from the platform. The crypto exchange noted that "the suspension will allow the company to focus its efforts and resources on being able to best meet the regulations outlined by the UK authorities in the future." The 2023 Act gives the FCA regulatory oversight of certain types of regulated activities, like arranging deals in or managing investments when crypto is the underlying product. It focuses particularly on how these activities are marketing to consumers and in that way, maybe actually proactively achieve the goals of consumer protection without restricting financial innovation better than what we have seen with the SEC focused primarily on enforcement actions.

POCA’s Part 2 powers are already available to officers involved in terrorist financing investigations and so there is no need to replicate these in ATCSA. The changes being made to Part 2 of POCA by the Bill will therefore be available in counter terrorism investigations going forward without any further amendment required. We have worked closely with Counter-Terrorism Policing to ensure that the changes to terrorism legislation meet their operational requirements. The media, social media influencers, opinionated individuals in the industry and well known cryptoasset advocates can create investor concerns or hype which can lead to price fluctuations causing volatility in the market.

Are cryptocurrency firms regulated in the UK

Given these characteristics, it is therefore no surprise that this technology is being exploited by criminals and terrorists alike. Crypto native firms that want to continue to sell their products and services to UK clients need to be prepared to become subject to financial services regulation and the supervision that comes with it. Expectations are that authorised firms have good governance, systems and controls around financial resources, operational resilience and conduct — and firms will need to evidence this in the authorisation process. Decentralised Finance (Defi)1 — HMT considers that the same regulatory outcomes should apply to cryptoasset activities regardless of the underlying technology, infrastructure, or governance mechanisms. However, with DeFi, the way the same regulatory outcomes are achieved may well differ and take longer to clarify as traditional authorisation and supervisory methods via identified individuals or firms will be difficult to apply.

  • Cryptoassets are a digital representation of value, the ownership of which is cryptographically proven (using computer code).
  • Confidence in the sector may be boosted if all exchanges have to follow set standards and conduct checks on cryptos that they sell on their platforms and ensure consumers understand the risks.
  • UK crypto companies have to follow a substantial number of regulations to stay compliant and avoid penalties.
  • In the UK, we have the Faster Payments Scheme, so there is not as much of an advantage in terms of speed or cost to using cryptoassets to transfer value.

While cryptocurrencies aren’t regulated, the taxman has already taken an interest in the sector. Most of the founders of cryptocurrencies are based around the world and outside of the UK, this makes it even harder to regulate cryptocurrencies. There is currently no such consumer protection when it comes to cryptocurrencies. In April 2021, UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced that a new task force would be formed to explore the potential of a UK central bank digital currency (CBDC).

MiCA doesn’t apply to digital currencies issued by central banks or security tokens like securities, deposits, treasury bills or derivatives. In both instances, a proportion of the assets are redistributed to the agencies who investigate and bring asset recovery cases to further tackle economic crime. Seizure is a temporary mechanism which interferes with a person’s property rights.

Provide for the destruction of cryptoassets in exceptional circumstances—where the financial gain for the sale of those assets would be outweighed by the loss to the public of allowing that circulation of funds to continue to be used in potentially criminal ways. These amendments will enable law enforcement to more effectively investigate, seize, and recover the proceeds of crime within the cryptoasset ecosystem. If it is not permitted to carry out cryptocurrency regulation in the UK business, the FCA suggests withdrawing your cryptoassets and/or money, as the firm is now operating illegally. Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.

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