UK Crypto Industry Celebrates Government Planned Exemptions For Crypto Ad Approvals
The UK crypto industry has welcomed the government’s move to introduce a tailored exemption for crypto companies looking to advertise to local customers. But the country’s financial regulator is a bit more cautious.
As part of the government’s plans to bring crypto promotions within the scope of regulation, a new rule added to the Financial Services and Markets Act which is passed by Parliament included restrictions on who can approve crypto advertisements. The requirement would have meant that most crypto firms “will not be able to communicate their own promotions, unlike other financial services firms” which are allowed “under” to have other relevant permissions, the UK Treasury said on Wednesday, but the exemption (which is not yet in force) announced on Tuesday means that crypto companies can approve their own promotions for the time being.
Industry comments made it clear that few qualified people would have been willing to endorse crypto advertisements, and the government’s plan would have been “an effective ban”, Treasury said.
“I think it was a big win for the industry. I pushed for it and I know some of my customers did it, industry bodies did it and I think we we got exactly what we asked for,” said Diego Ballon Ossio, senior partner at UK law firm Clifford and Chance. Ian Taylor, director of lobby group CryptoUK and Mark Aruliah, senior policy adviser at Elliptic echoed this. .
Learn more: Proposed UK rules will make crypto advertising much harder, industry warns
Not everyone likes the Treasury exemption. Given the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) growing focus on consumer protection “it’s hard to see how the regulator could ever accept this,” said James Alleyne, chief legal officer of Kingsley Napley, who worked previously to the FCA in an emailed statement.
A new set of highly anticipated regulatory plans released by the Treasury on Wednesday could require crypto firms to be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). For now, companies must apply for registration with the FCA under its anti-money laundering regime.
But signing up isn’t exactly a walk in the park, either. The FCA has only approved 14% of the registrations it has received from crypto firms and is known for its criticism of crypto, unlike the UK Conservative government, which has repeatedly stated its desire to transform the country into a crypto hub.
“We will publish our final rules for crypto asset promotions when the relevant legislation is passed. We expect to take a consistent approach to that taken for other high-risk investments,” an FCA spokesperson told CoinDesk in an emailed statement. “Crypto-assets are high risk and anyone buying them should be prepared to lose all their money.”
The government has “made the difficult decision to listen to the industry”, regardless of what the regulator thinks, Aruliah said.
Learn more: UK crypto firms will get sweeping laws and may need re-licensing
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