CryptoUK, a self-regulated trade group dedicated to the cryptocurrency industry, has requested regulatory oversight for the digital currency market in the region.
The trade group, in a written response to the Treasury Committee’s inquiry into cryptocurrencies, has offered detailed proposals and is calling on MPs to place the digital currencies under the jurisdiction of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
CryptoUK, which counts among its member firms exchanges like Coinbase, eToro and Coinfloor, among others, introduced proposals for how a regulated UK cryptocurrency market could look and asked a group of MPs to support its ideas.
Among the suggestions is a “Crypto-License” that would be assigned to AML- and KYC-compliant cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and other trading platforms that support both fiat- and digital-currency-fueled transactions. Licensed exchanges could open the floodgates for liquidity as it could provide the final push to institutional investors that have been on the sidelines.
“Introducing a requirement for the FCA to regulate the ramps between crypto and fiat currencies is well within the remit of HM Treasury and it would have a huge impact in both reducing consumer risk and improving industry standards,” according to Iqbal V Gandham, CryptoUK’s Chair and also eToro’s UK Managing Director.
Further, the trade group’s advice is to keep regulation within the parameters of these intermediaries rather than focus on the digital currencies themselves. The HM Treasury, CryptoUK says, could rely on peer-to-peer policy already in place to cover cryptocurrency investments under the financial regulator’s purview. CryptoUK pointed to the approach taken by lawmakers in Japan and Gibraltar as examples of how to proceed.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for government to take a proactive stance, putting action where there are positive words and reinforcing the UK’s role as the world’s financial capital. We hope that the Treasury Select Committee considers these and adopts the ideas when it puts forward its own recommendations to the Treasury,” said Gandham.
Shaping the Discussion
CryptoUK believes that no matter how widespread cryptocurrency investing becomes in the region, the UK can’t reach its potential as a global market without the proper regulation. The trade organization lauded the Treasury Committee’s inquiry to examine the impact of digital currencies on the economy, which is currently underway, but wants to help shape the discussion.
CryptoUK isn’t the first entity to ask for regulation.
Coinfloor, a UK-based bitcoin trading platform that was launched in 2013, approached the FCA in hopes of gaining regulatory oversight from the financial watchdog. But the exchange was rebuffed by the agency and has since expanded to Gibraltar in hopes of becoming a licensed exchange there where regulation is advancing more quickly.
CryptoUK didn’t respond to a request for comment at press time. The trade group’s request for regulation came in the lead-up to today’s UK Parliament hearing on cryptocurrencies. Stay tuned to CCN for coverage of the hearing.
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