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UK’s FCA says 50 crypto firms are under investigation

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The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced a crackdown on cryptocurrency firms operating in the country. The move comes as the regulatory body seeks to push unregistered crypto businesses out of the UK

UK cracks down on unregistered crypto firms

The FCA issued an announcement on Thursday saying that it has launched over 300 cases on cryptocurrency firms that have failed to procure the needed registration. The cases have been opened within the past six months alone, with the FCA saying that the majority of the unregistered firms could be scams.

The regulatory body for the UK market also added that 50 active investigations were underway. Part of the investigations will include criminal enquiries into crypto firms that have already been authorized to operate in the UK.

The FCA also revealed that between April and September 2021, 16,400 inquiries of crypto-related scams had been made by UK residents. The FCA noted there would be “more assertive supervision and enforcement action” to protect UK residents from these scams. It has also promised a tougher regulatory framework for crypto firms that want to operate in the UK.

The FCA has been vigilant in regulating the crypto space. In January, it announced it was seeking feedback on the promotion rules for “high-risk investments.” The deadline for collecting this feedback has been set to March 13.

Cryptocurrency exchange firms that want to offer services to UK residents need to register with the FCA. 32 crypto firms have already received approval to operate in the country. In 2022, the regulatory body has issued cryptocurrency licenses to the UK subsidiaries of Uphold, eToro and Light technology.

Regulating crypto advertisements

Besides the FCA, other regulatory bodies in the UK have also been pulling strings to guarantee a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets. The Advertising Standards Authority had earlier banned promotions from some leading cryptocurrency exchanges.

The regulatory body specifically pointed out a promotion by the European subsidiary of Coinbase. It said that the advertisement was misleading. It also flagged another advertisement by Kraken saying that it failed to warn investors about the potential risks of investing in digital assets.

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