NCFA Innovation 2019

FCA Issues Temporary Registration Ahead of Crypto Ban to Retail Investors

FN | Bérengère Sim | Jan 4, 2020

Crypto assets in the UK - FCA Issues Temporary Registration Ahead of Crypto Ban to Retail InvestorsOn 6 October, the City regulator had banned the sale of crypto products to retail investors in the UK, saying that the “extreme volatility” of cryptocurrencies made them “ill-suited” for retail customers, as well as the prevalence of market abuse and financial crime in the secondary market. The ban will come into effect on 6 January 2021.

[Until then] the Financial Conduct Authority has established a temporary registration regime to allow cryptoasset firms to continue trading – after it was unable to process firms’ applications by their original deadline due to a pandemic backlog.

“The FCA was not able to assess and register all firms that have applied for registration, due to the complexity and standard of the applications received, and the pandemic restricting the FCA’s ability to visit firms as planned,” the regulator said in the 16 December statement.

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Firms were required to register from 10 January 2020 with the deadline being 10 January 2021. If approved, they would have featured on the watchdog's registered cryptoasset firms list.

However, the regulator has now released a list of firms with temporary registration, alongside its 16 December statement, features around 90 firms, including asset manager Fidelity Digital Assets.

This temporary list is for existing cryptoasset businesses which applied for registration before 15 December but had not yet had their application reviewed by the regulator; the firms will be allowed to continue to trade until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA’s approval.

Firms that did not apply for registration by 15 December will not be eligible for the temporary registration regime and will need to return cryptoassets to customers, the FCA said. They must stop trading by 10 January 2021.

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