UK financial watchdog wants crypto and blockchain expert

The financial regulator in the U.K. is hiring, with a vacancy for a cryptocurrency and blockchain expert, according to a job posting published today.

In a job posting on LinkedIn, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it was looking for an “Intelligence Associate” to work within its Enforcement & Market Oversight division, on a 12-month full-time basis.

The role will involve “undertaking the delivery of intelligence support and advice to Authorisations, Supervision and Enforcement for the processing of applications connected with identified high risk factors (Jurisdiction, product or identified previous adverse intelligence, linked to the 5 MLD and the crypto sector.”

The successful applicant will also be involved in “building and maintaining effective working relationships with colleagues in other business areas within the FCA and with external stakeholders involved in crypto and related harm and risk.”

The job listing frequently references the importance of experience in compliance, and an understanding of the 5MLD provisions, the latest anti-money laundering guidelines applicable in the U.K.

Some analysts have interpreted the job listing as a possible sign there could be more regulation to come for the crypto sector. With crypto fraud and scams hitting record numbers, there have been persistent calls on the FCA for some time to step up its response to criminality in crypto.

Hiring a crypto and blockchain expert could suggest the FCA is looking to strengthen its enforcement resources, in a bid to tackle the rising numbers of these crypto scams.

It has also been taken as a sign that the FCA considers cryptocurrencies to be “here to stay,” as the industry moves ever closer to the mass mainstream.

Daniel Williams of U.K.-based financial advisory firm Morgan Williams & Co. said the hire was part of the FCA’s modernisation agenda, in respect of cryptocurrencies. He was quoted by Hard Fork saying, “The FCA has tried to modernize its thinking over the past few years, it’s their duty to try to keep up with new assets and technologies.”

In the long-term, Williams said he expects the FCA will look to increase its oversight over the sector, including on how cryptocurrencies can be stored, how they can be marketed, and whether they are suitable for retail investors.

The role requires official security clearance, with the successful applicant commanding a salary between £36,000 and £45,000 plus bonuses. 

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