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UK Government outlines plans to regulate cryptoasset industry

UK Government outlines plans to regulate cryptoasset industry

The UK Government has floated proposals to bring cryptoassets into the same regulatory regime as traditional financial services.

The UK Government in April pledged to introduce rules that would position the UK as a global hub for cryptoasset technology.

Consultation proposals include strengthening rules for crypto trading platforms and a "robust world-first" regime for crypto lending by tightening the rules around financial intermediaries and custodians.

The consultation sets out key design features of the regime covering themes such as prudential requirements, data reporting, consumer protection, location policy and operational resilience

The paper also proposes regimes for a range of cross-cutting issues which apply across cryptoasset activities and business models, including market abuse and cryptoasset issuance and disclosures

The opening of the consultation comes as as the crypto sector continues to experience high levels of volatility and a number of recent failures have exposed the structural vulnerability of some business models in the sector.

The Government says the consultation will seek views on improving market integrity and consumer protection by setting out a proposed crypto market abuse regime.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Griffith says: “We remain steadfast in our commitment to grow the economy and enable technological change and innovation - and this includes cryptoasset technology.

“But we must also protect consumers who are embracing this new technology - ensuring robust, transparent, and fair standards.”

In a first step, the Government is to bring the promotion of cryptoassets within the scope of financial promotions legislation, subject to FCA oversight in line with the same standards held for stocks, shares, and insurance products.

States the document: "This approach delivers on the original policy intention of the measure to promote innovation, enhance consumer protection and ensure that cryptoasset promotions can be held to equivalent standards as promotions of financial services products with similar risk profiles."

The consultation will close on 30 April and the feedback generated will be fed into the legislative process. Once legislation is laid, the Financial Conduct Authority will consult on its detailed rules for the sector.

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