Financial Conduct Authority Increases Crypto Investigations to Eliminate Unsavory Businesses
Bitcoin’s price has been going down for quite some time, and this seems to coincide with the UK watchdog taking some action in the industry. According to data provided to Telegraph Money, the quantity that the Financial Conduct Authority has been investigating in the digital currency industry has doubled.
In a Freedom of Information request, the FCA revealed 50 separate firms that they believed could be operating financial services without permission, which is more than double the 24 firms that it had been looking at in May. Along with the investigations, the company has received reports from some whistleblowers this year. While there were none recorded in the last three years, this year alone has had seven of these reports.
Bitcoin has been the most well-known crypto asset of the entire industry. At just over 10 years old, it became mainstream news as it reached a $20,000 price tag per coin. This week, it rolled below $4,000, which hasn’t happened in over 18 months. There seemed to be two reactions – some investors saw a chance to take away control from banks, while others just saw it as an opportunity.
A partner at accountancy firm Moore Stephens, Andrew Jacobs, noted, “The huge sums lost as a result of cryptocurrency prices falling this year will have triggered a rash of complaints to the FCA. Now that prices have collapsed, fraud is likely to be exposed, with greater pressure coming to bear on the FCA to ensure that this market can operate transparently and fairly.”
So far, the FCA, Treasury, and Bank of England created a task force, even though cryptocurrency still isn’t regulated. When giving a speech this month at the Regulation of Cryptocurrencies event in London, Christopher Woolard, a board member of the FCA, noted, “[Consumers] may buy unsuitable products, face large losses, be exposed to fraud, struggle to access services or be exposed to the failings of providers such as exchanges.”
In a report by The Block, it seems that a parliamentary report was published last month that mentioned the FCA. The report, which came from the UK’s Treasury Committee, claimed that the unclear opinion that the FCA is toting is leaving too many UK citizens at risk for succumbing to scams in the crypto industry.