UK Regulator Given Total Power Over Crypto
2018 has been a tumultuous year for the cryptocurrency community, as well as the crypto markets. Price fluctuations have been significant, and crypto is projected to end on a particularly low note amid a lasting bear market that some have dubbed the “crypto winter” of 2018. But crazy price changes and drops have not been the only significant thing to come to the cryptocurrency space this year. Brand new regulations and expansion of regulatory entities and their power has also been a major mover in the market in the last quarter.
Though much of the media attention has been focused on the United States and the ongoing war over regulatory custody of digital and decentralized assets, the United Kingdom has just witnessed a key victory for regulators in their own battle for the soul of crypto. The Guardian recently published a breaking news article outlining that the FCA, or the Financial Conduct Authority has been given clearance to establish its own regulatory practices over all digital currencies.
The FCA regulating some cryptos is old news; the authority has been regulating select currencies under its framework for the past couple of years. But some of the biggest cryptocurrencies on the market—including Bitcoin itself—had previously fallen under a jurisdiction outside of what the organization is able to regulate.
A Striking Blow For Regulators
This news is refreshing for the Treasury Select Committee within the House of Commons. The committee recommended earlier this year that cryptocurrencies be further regulated by entities within Great Britain, proposing their own framework for how such a system of regulatory action might be implemented in the current structures that be.
The recent decision has been categorized as almost a direct institutional response to a warning by some MPs that digital currencies are particularly risky to investors looking for a safer bet for their money. The government was pushed to make a de facto decision, and has since responded with a statement from the City Minister John Glen, who outlined that the government has plans to “consult” to give the FCA regulatory authority over a much broader range of cryptocurrencies than they currently have jurisdiction over.
Britain is obviously not alone in their efforts to regulate cryptocurrencies. Countries all over the world are jumping on the bandwagon to push for further regulation of the wild west that is the cryptocurrency space. This is not unjustified; financial leaders and professionals all over the world have outlined their beliefs that the crypto industry leaves investors particularly vulnerable to manipulation and defrauding.
Moving forward, the cryptocurrency industry in Great Britain—as in much of the world—will have to contend with a fluctuating regulatory landscape until these countries roll out a definitive framework for fair and balanced regulation of the budding industry. While for some companies this might spell trouble, others are surely ready to begin talks to fit inside the evolving regulation scene in their own home country. In this crypto winter, there can be no doubt that, with luck, companies will thrive in the coming summer.