UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Extends Temporary Registration For Crypto Exchanges

  • UK’s top financial regulator extends “temporary registration regime to July 2021.
  • Customers are warned to withdraw assets from exchanges that are not in the registration process.

U.K. regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched its ‘Temporary Registration Regime’ to allow cryptocurrency service providers who are in the process of registration to continue offering their services. The registration deadline to crypto firms in the U.K is being extended to July 10th next year for every firm that applied for registration before December 16th, 2020 – previously set on January 10th, 2021.

The temporary registration regime is set to allow the regulators additional time to check and approve licenses “due to the complexity and standard of the applications received” and the effects of the global pandemic on their operations.

Earlier in January, FCA took on the lead supervisory role of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in the U.K. The regulator enforces anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) compliance across the country to safeguard the consumers. The regulator introduced several stringent laws in crypto, including every crypto service provider acquiring a license to operate a business in the country.

The deadline for registration of crypto firms was set for January 10th, 2021.

However, the regulator announced an extension of the registration period – a “Temporary Registration Regime” – to 10th July 2021 as applications are still being assessed. The regime allows crypto service firms, those who had registered before December 16th, to continue offering their services as the regulator works on the licenses. The statement from FCA reads,

“This [The Temporary Registration Regime] is to enable those existing businesses to continue to trade after 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA’s determination of their application.”

The registration delay is blamed on the “complexity and standards of the applications received” by the regulator.  The Coronavirus pandemic also hindered the authorities as their visits to the crypto exchanges themselves was limited.

The statement warns both crypto trading services providers and customers on the consequences of leaving assets on a trading platform not registered before December 15th –as the waiver does not apply to them. Exchanges that weren’t registered by Wednesday, Dec 15, will need to ask their customers to withdraw their funds by January 10th, 2021, or risk “being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.”

According to FCA’s website, only three companies have received approval to start trading crypto, with a list of 90 crypto firms waiting in line. So far, Kraken exchange subsidiary, Crypto Facilities, received a crypto futures trading license earlier in the year, and Binance announced its plans to launch FCA regulated exchange in the U.K. However, only the U.K fintech firm Ziglu, Archax, and Gemini are regulated by the FCA.

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