The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) outlines cryptocurrency intentions

The business plan for the UK’s FCA commits it to an assessment report regarding cryptocurrencies, that’s due later this year…

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has outlined its business plan for the forthcoming year – and cryptocurrencies are very much on its agenda.

The FCA is a financial regulatory body, independent of the UK government, that oversees over 50,000 financial services firms and markets in the UK. It is not without teeth. What’s more, its business plan has outlined what it determines as its upcoming priorities, and in its publication, it does note that “cryptocurrencies themselves are not currently within our regulatory perimeter”.

But then it adds that “some models of use or packaging cryptocurrencies bring them within our perimeter, making the landscape complex”.

It noted that in the last year, “we issued consumer warnings on cryptocurrency Contracts for Difference and the risks of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)”, and going forward, the FCA has confirmed that it’ll work with the Bank Of England and UK Treasury to “develop thinking and publish a Discussion Paper later this year outlining our policy thinking on cryptocurrencies”.

It sounds ominous, not least with Bank Of England governor Mark Carney already expressing his heavy concerns about cryptocurrencies last month. That said, the FCA is independent from the Bank, and it’ll be interesting to see just what it concludes. The business plan it’s produced commits the FCA to the publication of an assessment report – the aforementioned discussion paper – in Q2 2018/2019. That seems to indicate that publication will happen before the end of September, although that’s not been confirmed.

The full document can be found here (PDF format).