Amid growing concerns about consumer protection, market integrity, and financial crimes, the FCA has increased its scrutiny of the crypto sector.
The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved Bitstamp’s registration as a crypto asset firm. Following the approval, Bitstamp became only the third firm to obtain the FCA license as a crypto exchange, following Gemini and Archax.
Bitstamp Secures FCA Approval
According to the FCA’s crypto register, Bitstamp UK Limited secured regulatory approval on 13 June, along with Interactive Brokers Limited. Consequently, Bitstamp will be able to offer its services to retail and institutional customers in the UK. Following the licensing, Bitstamp expressed its commitment to expanding its presence and investment in the UK market.
According to Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, CEO of Bitstamp, the company believes regulation is necessary for the growth of the industry. He said:
“We have always embraced regulatory efforts that focus on transparency and accountability to help expand the industry and bridge the gap with traditional finance.”
FCA Tightens Oversight of the Crypto Sector
Amid growing concerns about consumer protection, market integrity, and financial crimes, the FCA has increased its scrutiny of the crypto sector. In 2021, the financial watchdog asked Binance to halt its operations in the country. It also warned that many crypto firms were not registered with it and warned investors to avoid such firms.
More recently, the FCA mandated all crypto firms in the country to register by March 31, 2023, or cease their operations. The regulator also extended a temporary registration regime for existing crypto firms with pending applications with it. Additionally, the FCA banned the sale of crypto derivatives to retail consumers. The regulator also revealed plans to place restrictions on crypto advertising and promotions.
Only three crypto exchanges – Gemini, Archax, and Bitstamp – have been fully registered by the FCA. Dozens of others remain on the temporary register or have withdrawn their applications. However, the UK government is not stopping its push for better regulations. Lawmakers are working on a comprehensive crypto asset regulatory framework that may give crypto a more prominent role in the financial services sector. After publishing the consultation paper on the framework in January, the public can expect a draft legislation later in the year.