The United Kingdom has submitted the final draft of its regulatory framework regarding cryptocurrency via the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). According to the report, not all cryptocurrencies fall under the same guidelines, as some merely classify as “exchange tokens.”
FCA Decides What to Do with Crypto
However, what all crypto assets seem to have in common is that they are subject to the same anti-money laundering rules. The quest remains the same: if you use cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes, regardless of their statuses in the document, you will likely face consequences.
In addition, the FCA is suggesting that all crypto-based derivatives not be sold to retail customers. A separate report regarding crypto derivatives will likely emerge in the future once the organization has had more time to examine the space.
Analysts and crypto industry leaders are weighing in on the decision, and for the most part, sentiment appears mixed, with some expressing concern that specific tokens are being separated from one another. Aries Wang, the CEO and co-founder of crypto exchange Bibox, explained in a statement:
The FCA is by no means driving regulatory change but as an influential force in the European market, we foresee the typology and guidance being rolled out as an industry standard. The paper critiques a supposed inherent intention to remove token holder rights in the case of what the FCA categorizes as ‘exchange tokens,’ the umbrella term for cryptocurrencies, crypto coins and payment tokens.
Charles Phan, the founder of digital trading platform Interdax, took a similar approach in his criticism of the FCA. He was particularly judgmental of the organization’s plans to invoke quasi-similar approaches to what are arguably many different forms of digital currency.
Given how the FCA has listened to the industry about which tokens to regulate actively seeking industry feedback, it is unfortunate that they have taken a blanket approach regarding crypto derivatives… While the guidance seems sensible and aligned with the approach taken in several other countries, their proposed ban of derivatives built on top of the ‘exchange tokens’ seems excessive, ill-suited and could simply push innovation overseas. These products will continue to thrive in the coming years to potentially become the most valuable niche of the crypto ecosystem, replicating what happened in the traditional markets. If the FCA is too stringent on in-demand crypto assets, it risks further isolating itself from a rapidly growing and highly fruitful market.
Not All Feedback Is Negative
On the other hand, Iain Wilson, an advisor to venture capital firm NEM Ventures, is confident that the FCA’s approach is the right way to go, explaining:
Repositioning the token taxonomy to distinguish security tokens from e-money tokens is positive. Regulation for securities should be structured differently from payments.
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses encryption (cryptography) to regulate the generation of currency and verify the transfer of funds, independently of a central bank. Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third party adversaries.
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