UK FCA Opened Over 300 Crypto-Related Cases in 6 Months of 2021

The regulator has 50 live investigations into businesses that have not registered with it.

AccessTimeIconMar 3, 2022 at 1:54 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 3:47 p.m. UTC

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it opened more than 300 cases between April 1, 2021, and Sept. 30, 2021, relating to businesses possibly involved in crypto assets.

  • According to an announcement on its official website, the financial watchdog said it has 50 ongoing investigations, including “criminal probes,” into businesses that have not registered with it. The cases were opened after the agency received thousands of complaints about possible scams, the FCA said in its consumer investments data review, published on Thursday.
  • “Between April and September last year, the FCA received 16,400 enquires about possible scams, up nearly a third from the same period in 2020. The top types of scams being reported to the FCA included cryptoasset, boiler room and recovery room scams.”
  • The FCA has been cracking down on crypto firms and advertising in the country in an effort to protect investors. In January, it announced plans to limit advertisements promoting crypto to sophisticated investors.
  • There are only 33 crypto firms currently registered with the FCA. The FCA has also approved temporary registrations for 22 crypto firms as of March 2.
  • According to data published, the FCA prevented one in four firms from entering the market between April and September 2021, although these are not exclusively crypto firms. The data also showed an increase in reports about possible crypto scams.
  • "Our cryptoasset team in Supervision opened over 300 cases relating to potential unregistered cryptoasset businesses in this period, many of which are likely to be involved in scams. During the same period, we added 172 firms to our Unregistered Cryptoasset Businesses list," the data report said.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.

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