FTX Crypto Exchange ‘Unauthorised’, UK Financial Watchdog FCA Warns Citizens: Details

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a consumer warning against cryptocurrency exchange FTX for operating in the UK watchdog’s jurisdiction without permission. The FCA has recently compiled a list of digital asset companies that have registered and adhered to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Payer Information) Regulations 2017 since August 2020. So far, the 37 companies on the list include crypto exchanges Gemini, Kraken, Galaxy Digital, and eToro, among others, with challenger bank Revolut on temporary registration status.

In a statement, the FCA said that “almost all businesses and persons offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK must be authorized or registered by us” and that FTX “is not authorized by us and targets people in the UK.”

What remains to be seen, however, is whether FTX will face any immediate fallout from the warning or if it will have the opportunity to discuss its case with the regulator.

It should be noted that the FCA oversees over 50,000 financial companies in the UK to ensure they comply with regulations. It requires crypto-related businesses to register and comply with anti-money laundering regulations, including implementing KYC restrictions for customers.

Sam Bankman-Friend’s multi-billion dollar powerhouse warning is another example of the FCA sounding the alarm on the digital asset industry. The regulator has been watching the space closely since digital assets exploded in 2021, warning companies against misleading marketing campaigns and banning all bitcoin ATMs (via BBC) in the country.

He was also one of several regulators to intervene against Binance over its regulatory practices last year, issuing a similar warning about FTX to point out that the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange posed “a risk important” for UK consumers.

Binance has made several significant changes, including introducing mandatory KYC restrictions and reducing its maximum leverage offering from 100x to 20x, in response to regulatory attention.


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