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FCA directs unregistered Crypto Firms in the UK to shut down



The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a regulatory body in the United Kingdom (UK) has directed all crypto firms that are unregistered to cease operations and refund their investors. This is in line with the new verdict from the regulator when it started operations early 2020.

The regulatory body started operations on 10th January, 2020 as the counter-terrorist financing and anti-money laundering watchdog of the UK. The body gave companies an ultimatum of one year from the time it started operations to register with it (10th January, 2020). It was said to have extended the date to July, 2021 because some companies were registered on interim.

The FCA warning

However, the FCA gave a warning that crypto companies that do not send in applications to register with the body on or before 15th December, 2020 would have to halt their operations by 10th January, 2021.

The FCA sent an email to the concerned firms, stating that they are required to be registered and failure to do that would result to cease of operations by 10th January, 2021 as the email stated;

Any existing cryptoasset businesses carrying on cryptoasset activities within the scope of regulation 14A of the MLRs by way of business in the UK is required to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing purposes by 9th January, 2021. If you are an existing cryptoasset business that is still carrying on cryptoasset activities in the UK and fall within either of the categories mentioned above, you are required to cease such activities before 10th January, 2021”.

The FCA also noted in the mail that it is expected of these crypto firms to keep their customers abridged about the situation at hand and provide necessary alternatives. The regulatory body has also made it known that companies that operate after January 10 might be sanctioned for committing criminal offences;

“You may be committing a criminal offence from 10th January, 2021 if you continue to provide services involving cryptoassets. If so, you are at risk of being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers”.

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