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Digital Securities Sandbox to be launched in the UK in Q1 2024

“His Majesty’s Treasury is poised to introduce a groundbreaking Digital Securities Sandbox, complete with a novel rule set designed to enable pioneering advancements in the realm of digital securities. Anticipated to be operational by the first quarter of 2024, this will mark the United Kingdom’s second foray into the world of cryptocurrency sandboxes, with a distinct focus on digital securities.

During her address at the CCData Digital Asset Summit on October 3rd, Helen Boyd, the Head of Capital Markets at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), disclosed the Treasury’s intention to unveil the Digital Securities Sandbox by the close of Q1 2024. Despite its de-jure status as an autonomous financial regulator, the FCA operates under the auspices of the UK Treasury.

Boyd elucidated the distinctions between the forthcoming Digital Securities Sandbox and the already operational Digital Sandbox, launched by the FCA in August 2023. While the FCA’s Digital Sandbox primarily serves as a nurturing ground for technology firms in their early-stage product development, the Treasury’s Digital Securities Sandbox will be governed by a fresh rule set, designed to facilitate novel ventures within the realm of digital securities. The official announcement of the Digital Securities Sandbox specifies its aim to provide companies with an opportunity:

‘To establish financial market infrastructures harnessing digital asset technology, capable of performing a myriad of activities related to digital securities under a temporarily adjusted legislative and regulatory framework.’

Boyd also shed light on the FCA’s impending role as the principal regulator for cryptocurrency activities in the United Kingdom. She revealed that the agency awaits a decision from the Treasury regarding the extent of authority to be conferred upon the FCA.

British regulators have recently displayed a heightened vigilance towards the digital assets industry. The Treasury is contemplating a comprehensive ban on cold calls related to crypto investments, while the FCA has issued stern warnings to local crypto enterprises failing to adhere to its marketing regulations.”

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