Business

Admir Aljic

UK FCA wants to hire cryptocurrency specialists

On Wednesday, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) posted two new positions seeking candidates with extensive knowledge related to cryptocurrencies. The two new candidates will be working with the Intelligence Services Team at the agency.

The two applicants will be part of a new team focused on digital assets, working with the Financial Crime Department, according to an FCA job posting. This continues a focus by the FCA to get involved in crypto-assets and in crypto asset-related businesses.

The regulatory agency has been working on new comprehensive guidelines related to crypto-assets. This includes providing “regulatory clarity for market participants” so that guidelines can be created which will determine “whether the crypto assets they use are within the regulatory perimeter.”

The period of consultation to help assist in creating the regulation ended in April, and it is expected that a full policy statement will be released sometime during the summer. This policy statement will help companies to have a better understanding of the regulations themselves, and how they apply to businesses. They will also inform businesses as to whether there is any regulatory authorization for transactions and business practices.

This is another step forward by the FCA, who granted the first license to a crypto asset management firm earlier this month. This license granted Prime Factor Capital the ability to operate as a full-scope alternative investment fund manager under the European Union’s directive.

With the U.K. set to leave the European Union, additional responsibilities have been heaped on the FCA, as there still are a number of compliance issues that will need to be addressed. This was described in more detail by Charles Randell, chairman of the FCA in an interview on July 17.

There he explained that Brexit has had a dramatic impact on the regulatory agency. “Change is here to stay for all of us, so the FCA must change too.” Because of the changes, he added: “We have started the debate about the future of U.K. regulation and that will be a priority for the FCA this year.”

Adding the two new positions is part of that change. These two new specialists will help to ensure that the country is compliant with the European Union’s guidelines related to crypto and exchange services, especially related to high-risk companies that may attract those involved in money laundering. The two new crypto intelligence associates will obtain information on “crypto assets, financial and economic crime linked themes and the role of various processes in regulating this activity,” helping to provide the kind of information needed by the FCA to make informed decisions.

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