On April 6th, Britain’s financial watchdog told that the firms/companies that render their services linked to cryptocurrency derivatives must first meet all relevant requisite and rules in the regulator’s handbook or otherwise face penalty on legal grounds.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) does not currently regulate cryptocurrencies. But it was mentioned by the FCA that dealing or arranging transactions in, advising on or providing other services related to derivatives referencing cryptocurrencies or tokens issued through an initial coin offering (ICO), would first require authorization. This includes cryptocurrency futures, cryptocurrency contracts for differences (CFDs) and cryptocurrency options, it said.
Last September, FCA warned consumers that ICOs were high risk and speculative.
The G-20 summit in March called on national regulators to monitor the development of crypto-assets and their risks, but there was no action because of the lack of consensus.
In its statement, the FCA said:
“If your firm is not authorised by the FCA and is offering products or services requiring authorisation it is a criminal offence. Authorised firms offering these products without the appropriate permission may be subject to enforcement action.”
Jake Green, regulation partner at law firm Ashurst, said:
“To some degree this (FCA statement) clears up a small degree of academic uncertainty. Regardless, it must be the correct decision and shouldn’t come as a shock to many.”
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