Crypto companies seeking to operate in the United Kingdom have until Thursday to get the Financial Conduct Authority’s clearance (FCA). Only 33 have cleared the regulator’s scrutiny so far.
After becoming the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervisor for the crypto business at the beginning of the year, the FCA announced a temporary scheme in December 2020, more than 100 firms sought for registration. A total of 60 people have either been denied permanent registration or have had their petitions withdrawn.
The FCA muddled the outlook for the 13 remaining companies in the Temporary Registration Regime (TRR) on Wednesday, saying it was extending the March 31 deadline for “a small number of entities where continuing to hold temporary registration is critically necessary.” The companies were not named, and the length of the extension was not specified.
Copper, a crypto services provider for institutions, Revolut, a fintech startup with a $33 billion valuation that enables cryptocurrency buying, and crypto exchange and digital wallet provider Blockchain.com, which is reputedly valued at $14 billion, are among those waiting for a decision.
The FCA has been accused by some in the industry of having an unduly risk-averse approach to the approval procedure.
The FCA is “disqualifying registration on the basis of super small things,” according to the CEO of one firm set to withdraw its application, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid upsetting the regulator. “They’re looking for the tiniest scratch and then invalidating the entire application.”
The critique is similar to that of Blockchain.com CEO Peter Smith. Of course, who slammed the FCA in a February interview with the British newspaper The Telegraph.
Smith claimed that the agency was…
“not keen enough to stimulate innovation and collaborate with the industry.”
As a result, he claims, the United Kingdom has “fallen behind.”
Following a $300 million fundraising round in May, Blockchain.com was valued at $5.2 billion.
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