The incoming head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a scathing attack on the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. Setting the stage for a showdown with the UK government and crypto companies based in the UK.
Ashley Alder told the Treasury Select Committee that crypto platforms were “deliberately evasive” in his experience. According to him, large organizations within the industry are complicit in large-scale money laundering. Alder also suggested that crypto firms in the United Kingdom would face an uphill battle as the FCA assumed more regulatory authority.
The Prime Minister and Crypto Perspectives Are Differing
This could put Alder at odds with the UK government and the new UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak. The new prime minister has previously stated his intention to turn the United Kingdom into an innovative crypto hub. Sunak was quoted at the time as saying, “We want to see tomorrow’s businesses – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively, we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.”
Sunak was a vocal supporter of cryptocurrency and CBDCs as the country’s finance minister. In April of this year, he and City Minister John Glen unveiled a comprehensive plan to position the United Kingdom at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulation.
Alder would not say whether he was on a collision course with the UK government.
Ashley Alder was appointed to the role of Chair of the FDA in July and is expected to take up his post in January 2023. He is currently the Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, as well as the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
His to-do list will include regulating the burgeoning world of crypto assets, DeFi, and investigating the rise of buy-now-pay-later retail debt.
Alder took a similarly bold stance against crypto-fueled money laundering in his current Hong Kong role. The SFC took action in May of last year to license virtual asset service providers (VASP) and restrict their dealings with retail customers.