UK-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinpass received approval from the country’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to operate as a crypto assets company.
This makes Coinpass among the first UK-based crypto exchanges to have fully registered with the FCA, according to Coinpass Chief Executive Jeff Hancock.
The FCA became the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor of crypto asset firms in January. Since then, crypto firms have had to register with the FCA before doing business. Until now, the FCA had only registered six firms with dozens more still being assessed. In June, the number of abandoned registrations jumped by a quarter in less than a month because of failure to meet anti-money laundering standards.
However, firms that registered with FCA before December 2020 are eligible for the Temporary Registrations Regimes (TRR). If accepted, this would allow companies to continue trading while the FCA assesses their registration. In June, the FCA extended the application deadline for the TRR from July 9, 2021, until March 2022. They similarly cited the falling number of registrations due to the failure of firms to meet necessary standards.
Despite the falling number of applicants, “a number of firms are clearly doing business in the UK without being registered,” according to the FCA’s head of enforcement and market oversight, Mark Steward. However, considering this situation “a very real risk,” he subsequently warned against 111 unregistered crypto asset firms. Earlier, the FCA set a precedent by becoming the first in a string of financial regulators to warn against Binance. This also led to the exchange ceasing its operations within the country.
The FCA later said that due to Binance’s lack of communication , proper supervision of the exchange was not currently possible. This followed the FCA’s claims that Binance refused to respond to what the FCA refers to as “simple questions.” While Binance did technically respond to queries, the FCA said the answers “amounted to a refusal to supply information.”
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