UK Watchdog Prolongs Temporary Registration Regime for Cryptocurrency Businesses

UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has informed that it will extend the registration time for existing cryptocurrency businesses. The regulator has set the new date to July 9, 2021.

A New Deadline for Existing Crypto Establishments

The “Temporary Registration Regime” will stretch the filing time by a few months – from the previously announced January 10, 2021, to July 9, 2021. 

According to the official FCA publication, the extension will affect already existing crypto establishments that have applied for registration before December 16, 2020, with their applications still being assessed. Consequently, those businesses will continue trading after January 9, 2021, until July 9, 2021.

Companies that haven’t submitted their application by December 15, 2020, won’t be accepted for the temporary registration regime. In their case, they will need to return cryptoassets to clients and suspend trading by January 10, 2021. In case a company doesn’t stop trading by that date, the UK regulator will consider it subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.

The FCA listed the reasons for prolonging the registration time, emphasizing the hardship of accessing and registering all firms which have applied for registration. The merits for this decision, according to the statement, are “due to the complexity and standard of the applications received, and the pandemic restricting the FCA’s ability to visit firms as planned.”

The watchdog has also advised all consumers involved with cryptocurrency companies to check if the firm they’re using is FCA registered or is in the list of Temporary Registration. In case it’s not, they’ll have to check if it is allowed to carry on business without registration (i.e., companies registered in a different country).

If the crypto company is not allowed to do business, the FCA advised consumers to withdraw their cryptocurrency funds before January 10, 2021. If such companies fail to suspend trading after that date, they will be banned from operating in the UK.

FCA Building. Source: FinancialTimes

Becoming Anti-Мoney Laundering Supervisor

Since January 10, 2020, the FCA has officially become the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervisor (AML/CTF) for companies in the cryptocurrency environment. This includes firms that exchange money to and from crypto funds and the ones that guarantee their clients’ digital assets.

The step required new and existing crypto-asset businesses to register with the financial regulatory body or suspend their operations.

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