UK’s FCA Releases Consultation Paper Regarding Crypto Guidelines

The FCA, which is the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, has come out with a new consultation paper, in which it elaborates upon a fresh set of guidelines with respect to cryptocurrencies. The FCA has also explained how it seeks to go about regulating the use of cryptocurrencies under its jurisdiction.

The financial regulator has released the consultation paper in order to explain the rules that have been put in place to guide the usage of assets like unregulated and regulated tokens. Such assets would also include the tokens that are classified as securities. The primary concern of the paper was with the laying down a roadmap to explain how FCA plans to delineate its role within the crypto industry in the near future. It also outlined the obligations of crypto firms for the coming months.

A key area that was emphasized upon in the paper was the immense importance of the EU Fifth Anti Money Laundering Directive. Considering that this directive would substantially impact the operations of all crypto firms and organizations within the UK. Despite Brexit, the UK will still be expected to play by similar regional rules.

It is expected that the Anti Money Laundering (AML) rules will possibly double down on existing Know Your Customer (KYC) rules. This will involve a more stringent requirement for reporting of customer activity across cryptocurrency exchanges and other similar organisations. This would involve the introduction of a limit on the maximum sum that can change hands in the form of crypto transactions without attracting regulatory attention and monitoring.

The new FCA consultation paper comes in the heels of the FATF guidelines for crypto regulations and represents an increasing trend of bringing crypto under the ambit of regulatory surveillance.

Interestingly, the paper clarified that exchange assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which happen to be leading cryptocurrencies in the market, will not be regulated by the FCA. Only tokens and securities will face heightened control as Bitcoin and Ethereum are “usually decentralized and primarily used as a means of exchange.”