FCA officials tell UK parliamentary committee crypto regulation is unavoidable

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Officials from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) attended the House of Commons Finance Committee on March 8 to discuss the FCA’s activities. Among the issues raised was the regulation of cryptocurrencies, which the authorities apparently approached without enthusiasm.

FCA Chairman Ashley Alder, who took the position in February after serving as CEO of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, said as the Financial Services and Markets Bill passes, the FCA will ” We are in the middle of a very ambitious reset,” he told the committee. parliament. He and his CEO Nikhil Rathi answered questions on predatory lending, mortgage interest rates, and many other topics before mentioning cryptocurrencies in the final minutes of the hearing. .

Former FCA chairman Charles Rundell wrote to the committee that “speculative cryptocurrencies are pure and simple gambling and should be regulated and taxed as such.” Globally, Alder replied, “This is unlikely to be seen from a regulatory perspective other than financial regulators.” Financial regulation “needs to be properly tightened,” Alder added.

If the “same risk, same regulation” principle applies to the crypto business, Alder said:

“An interesting aspect of this is the degree to which crypto needs to adapt and effectively detoxify in order to fit into that regime.”

Asked if regulation would “unfairly justify” cryptocurrencies, Alder said “yes” but said public policy issues such as money laundering cannot be addressed without regulation. .

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If the Financial Services and Markets Act is passed, the FCA will be given new regulatory powers over the cryptocurrency industry, but it will not eliminate the risks that cryptocurrencies pose. “There will be no framework in place to protect consumers from loss,” Mr. Lati said.

Most UK crypto holders only have “a few hundred pounds” worth of cryptocurrency, he added.

The Financial Services and Markets Act was introduced into Congress in July and amended in October to expand regulatory provisions for cryptocurrencies.