UK Watchdog, FCA, Retracts Kraken Warning But BitMEX Is ‘Not Authorized’ To Be Operating


UK’s financial watchdog, FCA, has retracted an advisory that cautioned local investors to steer clear of Kraken exchange. This is after it was revealed the decision was based on falsified email addresses which the FCA had linked back to Kraken. BitMEX, on the other hand, is still under the regulator’s radar and only time can tell whether they will also be off the hook.

Recently, the FCA through their website warned [the warning has been removed from FCA website] the UK’s citizens to be wary of the Kraken exchange as they were operating without the approval of the financial watchdog;

“Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorized firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.”

Retraction at Kraken’s request

They have however taken down the notice at Kraken’s request. This was after Kraken’s top brass contacted the watchdog on a possible mistaken identity scenario. Apparently, the warning was based on two email addresses that were set up by online scammers purporting to be from Kraken.

BitMEX, on the other hand, has continued to operate in the UK despite not getting a go-ahead from the regulator. According to the FCA they have been targeting UK investors while ignoring their unregistered status. As of the press release date, all registered crypto assets dealing companies are included in a Financial Services Register.

The FCA as UK’s crypto watchdog

The FCA has taken over the reins and is the official Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) supervisor of the UK crypto asset activities. Now, all crypto asset companies that intend to tap into the British crypto market are subject to registration with the FCA. Existing crypto entities have been given up to June 2020 to present a complete registration update.

Notably, the FCA recently imposed new fees, with reductions for those companies making less than £250,000 while those that make above the £250,000 skyrocket by 150%.

The World Federation of Exchanges WFE has since come out to implore the FCA not to forbid the sale of crypto derivatives to retail investors. They warned that this would impact the regulated exchanges negatively despite having complied. This was after the FCA sought opinions from the industry leaders on how best to protect investors in participating in the crypto derivatives market.

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