UK Minister Proposes Measures to Regulate Crypto Ads, Ban Unauthorized Providers

Andrew Griffith introduced the acts as amendments to an existing financial-services and markets bill.

AccessTimeIconOct 21, 2022 at 12:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 21, 2022 at 7:19 p.m. UTC

Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

The U.K. government has introduced measures that would regulate crypto ads and ban unauthorized crypto providers from offering services.

Amendments introduced by Financial Services and City Minister Andrew Griffith to his own bill on Friday have been welcomed by an industry that has called for proposals to extend beyond stablecoins, which are digital assets pegged to relatively stable assets like the U.S. dollar.

The measures amend existing laws to "clarify that the powers relating to financial promotion and regulated activities can be relied on to regulate crypto assets and activities relating to crypto assets," said an explanatory note put forth by Griffith and published Friday, as an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill. Under the U.K. laws dating back to 2000, it is prohibited to carry out regulated financial activities without permission.

The measures seem likely to find favor with an industry that has been crying out for more regulatory certainty, like that offered by the European Union with its Markets in Crypto Assets regulation (MiCA).

"The amendments enable the Treasury and FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] to introduce a full regulatory regime for crypto, a hugely positive step," Nicholas Taylor, head of public policy at crypto exchange Luno, told CoinDesk in an emailed statement. Luno is owned by the Digital Currency Group, which is also CoinDesk's parent company.

Andrew Jackson of fintech industry group Innovate Finance also drew attention to the lack of legal clarity surrounding crypto at a hearing on the bill Wednesday.

Regulators have also been itching to extend their powers to cover crypto. In August, the FCA went so far as to set out the restrictions it wants to put on crypto ads in advance of legislation.

The bill is due to be discussed in committee between now and Nov. 3, but may be affected by the departure of Prime Minister Liz Truss, announced Thursday. The nomination of a successor, due next week, may herald a change in other ministerial positions.

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Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.