The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) plans to provide access to a digital sandbox, or testing environment, for firms to see how their products perform at an early stage of development, the regulator said on its website on Thursday.
The sandbox, which started operating on a trial basis in 2020, is also open to data providers and will offer firms access to data sets, application program interfaces (API) and data security protection. During one of the two pilot phases, it was used to evaluate sustainability performance, including eco-friendly decentralized ledgers.
A sandbox provides a secure setting in which developers can test and evaluate their products in the knowledge that any unintended side effects will be isolated from a live environment. While not currently configured so, the FCA's offering can be configured to support a number of distributed ledgers and digital-asset use cases, like building interoperability between networks, according to a person familiar with the project.
Former Economic Secretary John Glen set out plans for the sandbox in a speech last year, in which he said he wanted the country to foster crypto innovation, a sentiment echoed by his successor, Andrew Griffith.
Previously, the sandbox was available only during pilots and TechSprints, which brought people from the financial industry together to address industry challenges.
Updated (July 21 07:33 UTC): Adds that the sandbox is not currently configured to support distributed ledgers in third paragraph.
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