The UK’s leading cryptocurrency companies have joined together to launch a self-regulatory trade body – CryptoUK – to improve industry standards and engage policy makers on the future of the sector.
CryptoUK will work to raise understanding of the sector at a time of significant growth in popularity and call on government to introduce appropriate regulation to protect consumers and business certainty, allowing the sector to flourish in the UK.
CryptoUK has developed an industry-leading Code of Conduct, the first in the UK, which members must comply with and is intended to improve standards in the industry.
The Code, which will evolve and be updated following collaboration with industry, policy-makers and wider opinion formers over the coming months, includes:
• Appropriateness checks to ensure that investors are fit and proper to undertake transactions;
• Due diligence checks on platform users to protect against illegal activity;
• Segregating fiat customer from company funds, and to ensuring customer funds are payable upon an insolvency event;
• Ensuring communications with customers is fair, clear and not misleading;
• Proactive disclosure of clear information on pricing, leverage and fees and any associated risks;
• A requirement on the use of “cold” wallets where appropriate.
CryptoUK comprises seven founding members including trading platforms, exchanges, comparison sites, intermediaries, merchants and asset managers.
These are: BlockEx; CEX.IO; Coinbase; CoinShares; CommerceBlock; CryptoCompare; and eToro.
Iqbal V Gandham, UK Managing Director of eToro, has been elected chair for the first year. Members hope that more businesses will join over the coming months.
At present the Association does not represent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) with CyptoUK committing to developing a specific Code of Conduct for the process.
Commenting on the launch, Iqbal V Gandham, Chair of CryptoUK, said:
“We’ve seen enormous growth of cryptocurrencies in the UK and recognition of both the benefits and the opportunities to make the UK a global leader.
“We’re extremely proud to have brought together some of the leading players in the sector. This Association is not only about exchanges, we represent the whole crypto sector, apart from ICOs. All of us are unified by a desire to grow in the UK and for the need for collaboration with government on what our future operating environment looks like.
“This is a severely misunderstood sector that has great potential to improve our society. But we are hearing instances of rogue operators and consumer harm. That’s why CryptoUK has been established: to promote best practice and to work with government and regulators to ensure that the UK benefits from the exciting potential of this international technology.
“The Code of Conduct is at the heart of everything we do. It is not finished. It will be improved and refined, in collaboration with industry, policy makers and others. We hope it can form the blueprint for what a future regulatory framework will look like”.