The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has temporarily lifted a ban on trading for cryptoasset firms before new regulations will force the closure of unregulated firms.
The newly-established temporary registration regime allows cryptoasset firms to resume trading until 10 January 2021, or face enforcement action.
However, firms which have not submitted an application to the FCA by 16 December 2020 will not be eligible for the temporary registration regime. They will need to return cryptoassets to customers and stop all trading by 10 January 2021.
“The temporary registration regime is for existing cryptoasset businesses which have applied for registration before 16 December 2020, and whose applications are still being assessed,” said the FCA.
“This is to enable those existing businesses to continue to trade after 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA’s determination of their application.
“The FCA was not able to assess and register all firms that have applied for registration, due to the complexity and standard of the applications received, and the pandemic restricting the FCA’s ability to visit firms as planned.”
The FCA is advising all cryptoasset consumers to check if the firm they use is on the FCA’s register, or on the regulator’s new list of firms with temporary registration. If they are not listed, and the firm is not entitled to continue trading after 10 January 2021, then consumers are advised to remove their funds immediately.
Since 10 January 2020, all crypto peer-to-peer lenders and other cryptoasset firms have been required to register with the FCA under new anti-money laundering rules. Unregulated cryptoasset firms that do not stop trading by 10 January 2021 are at risk of being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.