The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has maintained a tough stance on cryptocurrencies or any form of crypto debate. The UK regulatory authority has often termed assets such as cryptocurrencies as riskier assets, suggesting that investors often get into it without full knowledge of the domain.
However, ever since Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the intentions of launching a non-fungible token (NFT) through the Royal Mint to make the UK a global crypto-asset hub, it seems there has been a change in stance for the regulators as well.
Recently, FCA co-director David Raw, who was speaking at the FT Digital Asset Summit, hinted that perhaps the regulators were close-minded about the cryptos instead of looking at it as an opportunity to attract crypto firms to work in the country.
All this while, FCA had turned down or had been strict with the registration of crypto firms as they had been inadequate information, or suspected the company’s policies for the sake of investors. To date, the FCA's close and strict stance has helped only 33 crypto firms get a go-ahead to operate in the country under its anti-money laundering remit.
Raw suggested that it's time FCA perhaps takes a balanced regulatory approach when it comes to cryptocurrencies. He admitted perhaps the FCA has been on the other side of the crypto debate. He said that while the UK Treasury is quite excited about the plethora of opportunities of cryptocurrencies, FCA has been more worried about the risk prevention factor.
He suggested that protecting consumer rights still remains FCA’s topmost priority. But it can opt for a balanced approach could perhaps be the way to go.
In fact, groups supporting cryptocurrencies and their trade is constantly growing in the country. Earlier this year, Matt Hancock, former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, voiced his support for the progressive development of an inclusive framework. He suggested that for this to happen, the Boris Johnson government must commit to developing a fertile business environment for the likes of fintech, blockchain technologies, and cryptos.
Hancock added that tokenisation would bring greater liquidity to the assets, thereby ensuring the UK gets that competitive advantage over others in the region.
Change in stance
Apart from the recent developments from the UK treasury's side, the FCA’s change in approach can be due to the growing crypto adoption in the country. According to data from job site Glassdoor, the UK currently is only second to the US in advertising crypto-related jobs.
Currently, 954 jobs have been advertised by various crypto firms in the UK. The top industries in the UK for crypto jobs are Banking & Financial Services, Computer Software & Hardware, Information Technology, etc.
Overall, Raw's statements could be music to the ears of the crypto firms in the nation which are looking for favourable regulations.
Whether it materialises into something or not remains to be seen. Still, it indicates that government and regulators are more open to listening to discussions and contributing to the development of Britain's crypto space.
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