The United Kingdom has recently capitalized on the widespread enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, riding the wave to become a thriving market for investors, developers, and regular crypto aficionados. This surge in interest has created a wealth of options and given the financial ecosystem fresh energy.
It does not, however, come without its share of challenges, particularly in terms of regulating monitoring, guaranteeing consumer protection, and maintaining market integrity.
The Federal Conduct Authority (FCA), the watchful protector of the UK financial markets, enters the fray with the goal of maintaining the openness, equity, and consumer-friendly operation of these spheres.
The rapid rate at which the digital asset market has developed has highlighted the need for a new assessment of the existing regulatory frameworks to make sure they are appropriate for the digital age and the particular difficulties that cryptocurrencies present.
In response, the FCA published a comprehensive set of rules that took effect on October 8, 2023, with the goal of establishing a more secure, open, and accountable cryptocurrency industry. A wide range of stakeholders, from businesses that deal in digital assets to the average consumer, will be affected by this change in how the UK deals with crypto assets.
This bold move emphasises the determination to uphold a uniform set of regulatory requirements for all digital asset transactions taking place under UK oversight, ensuring a secure environment for crypto activities.
As previously reported, the U.S. faces a loss of Web3 companies due to regulatory ambiguity, providing the UK with an opportunity. However, the UK must adapt its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these companies, as suggested by a report from the conservative think tank Policy Exchange, which outlines ten recommendations for British Web3 legislation.
One of the exchanges which are following a lot of regulatory requirements and looking to get compliant is Bitget. CCN spoke to its managing director Gracy Chen on its approach to new regulations and guidelines.
CCN: How does your company typically stay informed about new regulations and guidelines in the cryptocurrency industry?
Chen: In addition to close collaboration with law firms that are based directly within a specific jurisdiction, Bitget employs highly qualified lawyers in-house whose task is to constantly stay in the know. At Bitget, we understand the importance of maintaining compliance in this dynamic industry. To this end, we have taken significant steps to bolster our compliance team by 50% over the past 12 months.Thanks to this, we not only promptly obtain information but also have a clear understanding of how to interpret it. This allows us to avoid misunderstandings with regulatory authorities in the future.
CCN: What is your overall opinion on the FCA’s guidance regarding cryptocurrency promotions, and how has it impacted your operations or approach?
Chen: Bitget closely collaborates with regulators, including the FCA. Their stance on cryptocurrency has become clearer. The introduced regulations were not a surprise to us or other market participants. We are pleased that regulation is becoming increasingly clear and specific, and we welcome such changes as they obviously contribute to the creation of a civilized cryptocurrency asset market.
CCN: In light of these regulatory developments, do you have any plans or strategies for the future to ensure continued compliance and best practices in the industry?
Chen: We have been working diligently, taking possible changes into account, so we have prepared strategies that we are ready to implement in the very near future. At the end of the upcoming year 2024, we will be able to compare financial indicators with those of the current year and discuss how the new regulations have affected us and the market as a whole.
The new laws primarily focus on following strict rules to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. These rules are essential safeguards against illegal financial activities that could harm the cryptocurrency industry and help align the UK’s digital asset market with globally recognized regulatory norms.
Gracy Chen serves as Bitget’s Managing Director, leading global market growth, strategic initiatives, and corporate development. She began her cryptocurrency journey in 2014 as an early investor in BitKeep. Chen holds a degree from the National University of Singapore and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.