The UK Government plans to make the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) responsible for enforcing regulatory practices, such as anti-money laundering (AML). It made this announcement in an “Economic Crime Plan” released last week. The plan is intended to tackle “fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption.” According to the plan, all relevant cryptoasset businesses will be brought under AML/CTF regulation by January of next year. The plan also calls for “expanding the FCA’s supervisory toolkit” for cryptoassets but does not provide details.
An October 2018 cryptoassets taskforce found that the market for them was small in the UK. An FCA report in January this year detailed statistics. Fifteen UK cryptocurrency exchanges accounted for $200 million, or approximately 1% of the total global volume, in daily trading in the asset class. “Only 4 of these 15 spot exchanges regularly post daily individual trading volumes above $30 million, which represents a low volume relative to the wider global market,” the report stated. But it also noted that greater awareness and popularity of cryptoassets meant growing level of harm. The agency had earlier this month proposed a ban on the sale of cryptocurrency derivatives and exchange-traded notes to retail investors.