How is UK cryptocurrency regulation changing?

Published:
July 19, 2023
How is UK cryptocurrency regulation changing?

On Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, the Treasury terminated a paper that sought to explore the future monetary administration for crypto. The news is followed by the recent high-profile downfall of FTX in November of 2022, which was previously valued at over $25 billion, but now it’s worth nothing. While the current Financial Services and Markets Act already promotes the adjustment of specific types of crypto (the UK has a stablecoin), the recent failures and long term instability in the crypto markets have led to a greater need for a formal regulatory substructure in the Britain. The suggested new industries will encourage innovation in the crypto industry while enhancing monetary strength and customer protection.

Anticipated Crypto Regulations in the UK

Currently, all establishments that operate cryptos in the UK must follow the AML Regulation of 2019 (MLR). The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) would take over the regulation of cryptos, this is done because of the classification of crypto as a monetary instrument. This facilitates the FCA in determining whether or not UK-based crypto-companies have implemented effective anti-laundering and Know Your Customer (KYC) rules.

However, additionally, around 40 suppliers of cryptos are enrolled with the FCA, including Bitpanda, Gemini, and Kraken as the most prominent names. Many of the world’s biggest banks and payment processors are located outside of the UK, this means that they are not mandated to follow the UK’sMLRs’ or conduct extensive KYC/AML processes.

The latest legislative amendments would extend the scope of these commitments geographically. They will cover all “crypto asset actions supplied in or out of the Britain.” This means that…

  • British corporations provide services to clients in the Britain or abroad
  • Overseas corporations provide services to United Kingdom clients

…would both need to comply with UK AML regulations. There may be a limited anomaly for reverse intercession, where a customer voluntarily stretches to a non-UK-based crypto interchange. However, this exception is expected to be solved due to the new monetary power, which would preclude non-FCA enrolled crypto corporations from commerce and advertising their accommodations to Britain crypto-customers.

Further, cryptos corporations would have to follow new rules against demand abuse, irrespective of where the misuse occurs (in the UK or elsewhere). This would add a new layer of complexity to the interchanges, making it necessary to identify the perpetrators in order to effectively impede their actions. This would involve various actions like KYC compliance, shared blacklists, monitoring order books, reporting distrustful transfers, and transmitting info between platforms for trading.

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