The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has unveiled a number of blockchain and digital currency projects to its regulatory ‘sandbox’ in a bid to promote product testing and consumer safety.

Nine blockchain startups (out of a total of 24) are involved in the fintech sandbox, a development which comes more than two years after the FCA first launched its financial tech-focused initiative ‘Project Innovate’. Within the sandbox, startups test new services and products under the supervision of regulators. The startups involved are Billon, BitX, Epiphyte, Govcoin Limited, Otonomos, Nivaura, SETL, Tradle and Tramonex.

FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said in a statement:

“It has been an intense process for both firms and ourselves and we are grateful for their cooperation and hard work in getting us all to this position. We look forward to these businesses bringing new products and services to market whilst we ensure that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are in place.”

The news comes months after the FCA indicated an open stance toward the technology. Woolard argued during a speech in February that blockchain applications need “space” to grow.

Looking ahead, the FCA said it is beginning the process of adding more startups to its fintech sandbox. The agency will begin accepting applications one more later this month, with an eye to open those firms to sandbox testing by next May.

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