UK government signals intent over cryptocurrency regulation

Bitcoin

UK government signals intent over cryptocurrency regulation (Image: Getty Images)

It’s the first time the FCA has advertised for such a role, meaning the government could be looking at tightening up on the largely unregulated world of Bitcoin and the hundreds of other cryptocurrencies being traded on the internet.

Current laws surrounding cryptocurrencies are grey areas. The FCA itself published several guidance notes throughout 2019 for investors but stressed that digital assets fell outside of the body’s remit.

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In the run up to the UK leaving Europe last Friday, dozens of cryptocurrency businesses had been urging Whitehall to deliver on robust regulation in order to ensure they were armed with full compliance and protection.

With the FCA creating a crypto role in its Enforcement division, it would now appear as though the threat of rogue companies operating outside of the law is being taken seriously.

Some of the requirements advertised with the role include:

• Undertaking the delivery of intelligence support and advice to Authorisations, Supervision and Enforcement for the processing of applications connected with identified high risk factors.

• Researching, preparing and disseminating intelligence material (including reports and other products) to inform Authorisations and Supervisory action.

• Working with partner agencies to identify, liaison and share intelligence, were necessary and relevant, to inform FCA decision-makers.

Bitcoin

Current laws surrounding cryptocurrencies are grey areas (Image: Getty)

Although being cheered and viewed as a positive step within many financial sectors, the move has also received some criticism for not coming sooner.

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see the FCA recruiting for this role, we had first heard that this job vacancy might be available last summer, and in that time alone we have seen multiple crypto scams come and go and investor losses from the UK alone being in the millions of pounds range,” said London-based crypto expert Jon Walsh.

“We need swift regulatory enforcement around illegal and fraudulent firms and offerings now more than ever.

“Without cleaning our house, trust in this still-nascent technology will continue to be on the floor and mainstream adoption ever further away.”

• Coin Rivet is a website bringing news, information, analysis, opinion and insight from the fast-moving blockchain world.