Last year the UK government established a Cryptoassets Taskforce, comprised of the FCA, HM Treasury and the Bank of England, as part of the government’s broader fintech sector strategy. The UK Cryptoasset Taskforce report published last October committed the FCA to providing guidance on the existing regulatory perimeter, in order to provide more clarity to the market. It also committed the Treasury to consulting on potentially expanding the regulatory perimeter (among other things).

The FCA has now published a consultation paper setting out draft guidance to help market participants understand which types of cryptoassets fall in and out of the regulatory perimeter and addresses some interesting questions, drawing on experiences from the FCA’s regulatory sandbox. Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback by 5 April 2019, with a view to publishing a final policy statement this summer.

Further clarity as to the scope of existing regulation is welcome. The question then becomes whether this is sufficient to maintain the UK’s position at the forefront of fintech developments, or whether changes are required – including possibly a bespoke regime for crypto firms.

See our FintechLinks blog post for more insights.

{ The [FCA's] final guidance — which comes after a consultation launched in January 2019 — has the potential to affect a wide range of instruments and operators within the field, including crypto assets, crypto exchanges, payment companies, wallet providers and brokers.