HM Treasury to Establish Regulatory ‘Gateway’ For Cryptocurrency Promotions

The British government intends to bring some certain cryptocurrencies in to the scope of financial promotions regulations in a bid to protect UK based consumers. They announced at the beginning of this week that they would be looking to put an end to misleading adverts that put retail investors at risk.

According to a proposal published today that was tabled by John Glen, UK financial sector City Minister, the Crypto firms would have channeled through a regulatory gateway before being greenlighted to advertise crypto assets. The Financial Conduct authority (FCA) would play the oversight role for the promotions. Therefore, companies seeking to access the products from these unauthorized firms would require approval from the financial watchdog.

This was after a report from the 2018 crypto taskforce collaborative efforts from the HM treasury, FCA and Bank of England, highlighted that in as much as the crypto sphere and the underlying Distributed Ledger Technology potentially had a lot to offer, they should take steps to protect consumers and markets from looming risks. The risks identified include: Money laundering and terrorist funding and consumer and firm understanding of regulatory framework.

In the statement, the Minister remarking at the deficiencies of the current regulatory framework to catch up with the dynamic products flooding the markets, insisted that the proposal would look to categorize crypto promotions as other financial product promos.

Notably, a recent FCA crypto survey estimates that at least 1.9 million Britons translating to almost 4% of their population own some sort of cryptocurrency. With the number of citizens that have possessed crypto assets increasing to 5.35% in 2020 from last year’s meagre 3%. Bitcoin is the most popular crypto product, with almost 22% of the respondents acknowledging to have heard of Facebook’s Libra initiative despite not being operational yet.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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