UK Blockchain Projects Near Regulatory Approval

UK regulators are reportedly moving forward with efforts that would find blockchain firms exiting a FinTech sandbox program.

Aug 22, 2016 at 1:16 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:27 p.m. UTC

UK regulators are reportedly moving forward with efforts that would find blockchain firms exiting a sandbox program aimed at encouraging innovation.

According to a report by The Financial Times, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is currently considering whether to approve several blockchain-based products for use by domestic consumers and businesses.

Sources told the news source a "small but significant number" of projects are being reviewed, and that details would be made available in the coming months.

News that the FCA is developing an approval process for blockchain projects comes months after bitcoin payments firm Circle Internet Financial became the first to receive an e-money license in April, a move that enabled it to formally extend services to the UK.

FCA directory of strategy and competition Chris Woolard told the media outlet that the FCA is looking at startups in areas where the regulator may be keen to encourage innovation, and that compliance may be one such sector.

Woolard was quoted as saying:

"We do think [blockchain] has got some potentially interesting applications and we are talking to firms thinking about how to apply that to financial services and how it could benefit consumers or indeed make the business of compliance easier."

The comments come months after the agency indicated its openness toward a light-touch regulatory approach to blockchain startups in the UK. At the time, Woolard said it was "crucial" that regulators give innovators room to create products and services.

Image credit: IR Stone / Shutterstock.com

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