The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced that it’s currently probing 18 firms involved in Britain’s crypto industry. The FCA is concerned over the risk posed to UK based investors and is doing all it can to protect these investors from dubious and dodgy practices like scams or fake firms. The world has been shaken by crypto scams and malpractice, ranging from the Mt Gox scandal to small wallet hacks and individuals targeted by criminal gangs.
49 Down 18 to Go
The FCA had a busy year in 2018, it opened enquiries into 67 firms and managed to resolve 49 cases. Out of those 49 resolved cases, a whopping 39 were issued with consumer alerts – meaning when the FCA suspects something is afoot, it usually is. With the 18 remaining enquiries, the FCA is declining to name and shame the firms due to commercial concerns for the firms. It doesn’t want to out a firm for being probed should the probe uncover no illegal activity.
UK Crypto Exchange Sent Unwanted “Gifts”
When the FCA fails to deliver swift action and justice, it appears as if crypto traders are taking matters into their own hands. A Swedish crypto trader mailed Cryptopay a pipe bomb after the exchange refused to reset his password. In a fortunate set of events – and quite frankly the weirdest way to open a parcel – the recipient opened the parcel by tearing the middle rather than the opening flap. Thankfully nobody was harmed, but it highlights the lengths traders will go to when the FCA doesn’t help out.
Winklevoss Looking at the UK for Gemini
The infamous crypto twins are eyeing up the UK and could launch Gemini there this year. The Winklevoss twins have been probing UK regulators looking to get ahead and ensure that their crypto exchange – Gemini – doesn’t run afoul of any rules in the UK. If Gemini does launch in the UK, it will open up a whole new world of crypto trading to UK based crypto enthusiasts, and will give them access to superior crypto products.
The UK remains a largely unregulated industry, but the FCA is doing its best to keep things under wraps. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has issued guidelines for tax season for all crypto users, showing that the UK is aware that crypto exists. With Brexit looming around the corner, it could be some time before the UK launches its own crypto regulations, but it’s definitely on the cards for the second half of 2019 and early 2020.