The road to regulating crypto in the UK is a long one…
Last month, the UK government looked to be edging towards being the latest legislature to look towards specifically regulating cryptocurrencies and crypto assets. It came as part of a House of Commons Treasury report, by the name of ‘Motion for a resolution on distributed ledger technologies and blockchains: building trust with disintermediation’. A catchy title.
But that report, which points towards increasing the role of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), brings with it some added complications. And in a statement from corporate lawyers Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC), the company’s James Kaufman – its legal director – has suggested a lengthy wait ahead.
Kaufman argues that “even if MP’s latest proposals were fast tracked, it could still take years for regulations to cover the UK cryptocurrency market that treads the middle ground between protecting retail participants and allowing the UK’s cryptocurrency market to thrive”.
RPC reckons that the Treasury department has to consider which specific cryptocurrency-related activities need regulating, draft the actual text of said regulations, and then put those open for a consultation period. Even if all that goes smoothly, it still needs to give due notice of the changes, and a date for their implementation. It isn’t going to be a quick process.
“Bringing a complex and fast evolving area like cryptocurrencies into a regulatory framework is going to be a difficult and lengthy process”, Kaufman argued. “Added to this, big issues like Brexit are already occupying a lot of regulator’s time”.
There’s been no further comment from the UK government on the matter for the time being. But as Kaufman points out, it’s pretty wrapped up with Brexit for the minute. Here’s its official statement.