UK grants Bitstamp official authorization to operate as cryptocurrency exchange
Bitstamp UK Limited and Interactive Brokers Limited have recently become the latest additions to the list of registered organizations in the UK.
The registration marks both entities as being among the first companies to join since the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) included Hidden Road Partners and MoonPay in December 2022.
A secure pathway
Bitstamp U.K. Limited received regulatory authorization on June 13, as reported by the FCA, through an update on its crypto register.
The FCA confirmed this development, making Bitstamp the second company to secure approval within a span of two days, following Interactive Investors (UK), a broker. Prior to these recent approvals, the FCA had not granted authorization to any crypto firms since December.
To operate in the U.K., crypto companies must successfully pass the FCA’s stringent anti-money laundering checks. The digital assets community has eagerly anticipated signs of a more lenient approach from the FCA regarding regulations.
While the U.K. government has actively promoted London as a cryptocurrency hub, the regulatory approvals process has faced criticism for its slow pace and overly conservative nature. Merely 15% of applications have successfully navigated the FCA’s scrutiny, contributing to the perception of a challenging regulatory environment.
Recent actions taken by the FCA include ordering local crypto ATM providers to cease operations or face further consequences and directing Binance Markets Limited to halt its activities in the U.K.
Bitstamp’s official authorization further emphasizes the stance of the U.K.’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report, which highlighted the aim of the country to become a global center for cryptocurrency and fintech development.
Emphasizing the importance of regulatory measures to safeguard consumers and maintain the U.K.’s industry leadership, the report underscores the need for robust frameworks in this sector.
Ongoing discussions on digital asset oversight
This announcement comes just one day after lawmakers in the United States and the United Kingdom’s hearings on June 13, which created a critical juncture in the ongoing discussions surrounding digital asset oversight.
The U.K. Parliament engaged in a debate centered around the findings of the Crypto and Digital Assets All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report, emphasizing the necessity of implementing cryptocurrency regulations.
At the same time, the House Committee on Financial Services in the United States held a hearing titled “The Future of Digital Assets: Providing Clarity for the Digital Asset Ecosystem”.
The purpose of this hearing was to direct the focus of lawmakers and the general public toward digital assets, shedding light on their potential risks and benefits, as well as the role of government in regulating them.