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August 7, 2019

FCA conclusion on cryptoassets: ‘no intrinsic value’

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its Final Guidance on the cryptoasset activities that it regulates on 31 July 2019. The conclusion: “Consumers should be cautious when investing in such cryptoassets and should ensure they understand and can bear the risks involved with assets that have no intrinsic value.”

The Final Guidance is in response to the FCA’s consultation published earlier this year and aims to help firms understand whether their cryptoasset activities fall under FCA regulation. This will allow firms to have a better understanding of whether they need to be authorised and what they need to do to ensure they are compliant.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said: “This is a small, complex and evolving market covering a broad range of activities. Today’s guidance will help clarify which cryptoasset activities fall inside our regulatory perimeter.”

The majority of respondents supported the proposals outlined in the consultation. The FCA is therefore publishing the Final Guidance as consulted on with some amendments to provide greater clarity on what is and isn’t regulated. This includes making the important distinction as to which cryptoassets fall inside the regulatory perimeter clearer.

Consumers should be mindful of the absence of certain regulatory protections when considering purchasing unregulated cryptoassets. Unregulated cryptoassets (e.g. Bitcoin, Ether, XRP etc.) are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and consumers do not have recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

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