UK Crypto Firms Awaiting Recognition Get Temporary Relief


The United Kingdom’s financial market regulator has established a temporary registration regime for cryptocurrency companies, which are awaiting mandatory registration approvals to continue their operations in the country.

This order came just ahead of the deadline of January 10, 2021, previously set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), mandating all existing and new cryptocurrency businesses operating in the country to register.

Though newly opened businesses need this approval upfront, the existing businesses had to apply for it before initially set June 30, 2020, deadline, which was extended afterward.

Wednesday’s order specified that the registration relaxation is only applicable to the companies which submitted their applications with the regulator before December 16, 2020. Crypto businesses yet to apply for the registration need to shut their UK operations by withdrawing their crypto assets or money before January 10, 2021.

“If the firm is not entitled to carry on business, then consumers should withdraw their crypto assets and/or money before 10 January 2021. This is because the firm will be operating illegally if it does not cease trading from 10 January 2021,” FCA noted.

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UK Crypto Companies Should Register

FCA mandated the crypto business registration at the beginning of this year after it became the supervisory authority for the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF).

However, the registration process remained extremely slow “due to the complexity and standard of the applications received, and the pandemic restricting the FCA’s ability to visit firms as planned.”

To date, the FCA registered only four firms, two of which are UK entities of Winklevoss twins-owned crypto exchange Gemini. The other two are Archax and Ziglu.

The regulator also shared the list of around 90 companies offering or willing to offer some kind of services with cryptocurrencies, including platforms like Revolut and eToro. These companies can now provide their crypto services in the UK till July 9, 2021.

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