UK Crypto Firms Seek HM Chancellor’s Push in Registration Delay

More than 150 crypto companies were awaiting registration at the end of 2020.

CryptoUK, a British trade body with more than 50 cryptocurrency companies, has written to HM’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak for his intervention in expediting the process of mandatory crypto business registration in the United Kingdom.

Reported by The Block, the letter was dated March 15 and the body’s chair, Ian Taylor complained over the unresponsive nature of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is responsible for the anti-money laundering registration process.

Additionally, he questioned the financial market regulator’s expertise on cryptocurrencies and pointed out that the delay is causing many UK-based crypto companies to shutter or leave the country.

“In both cases, this is a negative result for the UK economy and its fintech community. This goes against the government’s mandate to promote and encourage competition and enabling innovation to thrive,” the letter signed by Taylor noted.

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Many Crypto Companies Are in Limbo

The UK regulator mandated the registration of all cryptocurrency companies operating within its jurisdiction before the deadline, which was initially set at January 10, 2021. However, due to the backlog created by the Coronavirus, it granted temporary relief to the companies which have applied for the registration as it is still evaluating the applications.

While the FCA approved a few companies like Gemini and Archax, the fate of more than 150 companies was in limbo by the end of last year.

The letter outlined that some of the crypto companies have been waiting for a regulatory response for eight months while there are also issues with case officer assignments.

“The clock is again ticking as we approach the new July deadline, whereby existing firms legally have to cease trading,” also included in the letter. “Additionally, hundreds of new businesses have been waiting for months to progress their applications, with staff and overhead costs mounting as they cannot start trading and earning revenues until their application has been approved.”

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