Only 15% of UK Crypto Firms Have Been Issued Licenses

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  • Only 15% of the 300 companies that have applied for an FCA crypto license have been issued one
  • Almost three quarters have been withdrawn or rejected
  • Some applicants have been using their applications as a badge of approval on their websites

Only 15% of the more than 300 UK crypto firms that have sought approval to operate from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have been approved, with almost three quarters rejected. This startling summary has been revealed by the FCA, which introduced mandatory licenses in 2021, although it seems that the low rate is due to the poor quality of the submission material as opposed to the way the companies operate.

85% of Applications Rejected, Refused or Withdrawn

The FCA announced in 2020 that all UK companies that dealt with the processing of cryptocurrencies would need to register and be issued with a license. This came into force in January 2010, and the FCA has revealed that, as of January 2023, it has received over 300 applications, only 15% of which have been issued licenses. Almost 75% were withdrawn or refused, with the remainder “rejected”. 

In an update to its application page, the FCA has produced more specific guidance as to how companies can become registered, and revealed a little about where some companies are going wrong. For example, in typical crypto fashion, some companies applying for an FCA license have been using these applications as a kind of banner of authenticity in their marketing materials and on their websites, which is resulting in their applications being refused.

The news will be a blow to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who wants to turn the UK into a crypto hub. Have a word, Rishi.