The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has established a Temporary Registration Regime to allow existing crypto-asset firms, who have applied to be registered with the FCA, to continue trading. The FCA is advising customers of crypto-asset firms which should have applied to the FCA, but have not done so, to withdraw their crypto-assets or money before 10 January 2021.
From 10 January 2020, ‘existing crypto-asset businesses’ (firms operating before 10 January 2020) have had to comply with the Money Laundering Regulations (MLRs); such firms were required to be registered with the FCA by 10 January 2021.
New businesses (who began operating after 10 January 2020), are required to obtain full registration with the FCA before conducting business.
The Temporary Registration Regime is for existing crypto-asset businesses which have applied for registration before 16 December 2020, and whose applications are still being assessed. This is to enable those existing businesses to continue to trade after 9 January 2021 until 9 July 2021, pending the FCA’s determination of their application.
Firms which did not submit an application by 15 December 2020 will not be eligible for the temporary registration regime. They will need to return crypto-assets to customers and stop trading by 10 January 2021. Firms that do not stop trading by that date are at risk of being subject to the FCA’s criminal and civil enforcement powers.