CoinShares to Lobby Against UK Ban on Crypto Exchange-Traded Notes

CoinShare's called the ban proposal of ETNs "unwarranted" and "not been properly thought out or considered."

AccessTimeIconSep 23, 2019 at 6:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:29 a.m. UTC

Investment platform CoinShares is urging  customers to lobby the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over impending regulations it fears will be too restrictive to crypto asset products.

In a letter to investors sent Monday, CoinShares has asked its customers to write emails and text messages to the UK regulator in support of one of its premiere products, exchange-traded notes (ETNs), which would be banned under the proposed regulation for retail investors.

As CoinShares writes:

"We believe that the FCA has not provided sufficient evidence to justify the proposed ban. Through its consultation, the regulator makes little attempt to genuinely evidence its claims and instead 'cherry picks' data sets in order to illustrate its perception of crypto assets, ETNs and the perceived harm the FCA believes these products cause."

Similar to a bond, ETNs provide investors with returns based on a market benchmark such as the S&P 500. CoinShares offers exchange-traded products for bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and XRP.

Released this past July, the FCA consultation paper claimed that "retail consumers cannot reliably assess the value and risks of derivatives and exchange-traded products that reference certain crypto assets.”

In today's letter, CoinShares said the FCA's analysis on crypto assets "demonstrates a lack of understanding of their functionality, value and the motivations for why an investor might seek out such products."

In a pre-formatted email CoinShares is asking investors to send to the regulator, the firm called the ban proposal "unwarranted" and "not been properly thought out or considered."

CoinShares is asking customers -- or any proponent of cryptoassets -- to write to the FCA over the proposed ban before the Oct. 3 comment deadline.

After publication, CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors told CoinDesk the FCA's proposed ban could set back the entire industry – inside and outside the UK – and not just CoinShares.

Said Demirors:

"If the FCA is successful in pushing this proposed ban through, it will mean that UK retail investors who currently enjoy access to the crypto-ecosystem via our ETNs will see their access cut off; with presumably little recourse. Additionally, the FCA has been clear in their consultation to note that they intend to work with other regulators to ensure the ban is not circumvented - so the potential contagion effect is very real even beyond the UK based on the FCA’s own words."

FCA image via Shutterstock


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