UK regulation of cryptoassets The proposed new framework and its global impact Perspectives

At this juncture, they may wish to compare the current and proposed regulatory position in the UK with that in other jurisdictions. To put the UK position into context, the following is a brief snapshot of the development of cryptoasset regulation across key jurisdictions. With approximately 85% of cryptoasset groups that have attempted to obtain FCA registration failing to do so and stakeholders calling for a bolstered regulatory framework and clearer rules, the U.K.

cryptocurrency regulation uk

The UK government is also expanding the existing financial promotions regime to regulate cryptoasset promotions.2 Together, these regulatory initiatives form part of the ongoing alignment of the regulation of cryptoasset activities with traditional financial services. On 1 February 2023, the UK Treasury published a consultation and call for evidence titled “Future financial services regulatory regime for cryptoassets” . The proposals outlined in the Consultation build on prior discussion papers, consultation papers, policy statements and guidance notes issued by various UK bodies in discrete areas of cryptoasset regulation. The Consultation is the most comprehensive set of proposals for the regulation of cryptoasset activities issued by the UK government to date, and seeks to achieve broad alignment with the UK’s approach to regulating traditional financial services. Dealers, liquidity providers, agency brokers, specialist cryptoasset firms and large traditional financial services firms offering intermediation services for cryptoassets may need to apply for authorisation.


This is in contrast to the EU’s regulatory regime for cryptoassets under the Markets in Cryptoassets Regulation , which is expected to be adopted during 2023. Although there is significant overlap between the UK proposals and MiCA, there are important points of difference, a number of which we discuss below. For further information on MiCA, see donne bellissime single our Sidley Update, How Will the EU Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation Affect Crypto and Other Financial Services Firms? Additionally, in April 2022, the Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology published terms of reference announcing that the CFIT model will comprise a ‘coalitions’ approach striving to support the growth of the sector.

cryptocurrency regulation uk

Companies have already complained about lengthy delays and tough FCA procedures under the existing money-laundering rules. Just 41 companies out of a total 300 that applied under the existing system succeeded in gaining regulatory approval, and now face the prospect of having to seek additional authorization. “Crypto firms already registered under the MLR regime and carrying out those activities would be required to also seek authorization under the new FSMA-based regime,” the document said – a comment likely to generate apprehension from those who already dealt with the FCA. “While not flawless, MiCA is an extremely relevant regulatory stack that puts significant pressure on the U.K. And U.S. in terms of delivering operational clarity for crypto,” London-based lobby group CryptoUK said in a tweet on Thursday. The finalization of the landmark EU law puts “significant pressure” on the U.K.

Market Abuse

In April 2022, HMT published a response to its January 2021 consultation confirming its intention to develop policy, discussed below. Browse an unrivalled portfolio of real-time and historical market data and insights from worldwide sources and experts. Access unmatched financial data, news and content in a highly-customised workflow experience on desktop, web and mobile. Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology. The United Kingdom aims to keep up with the regulatory wave that is expected to arise in the European Union following the European Council’s approval of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation, or “MiCA”. Securities tokens can benefit the owner, such as the business’s debt from a company or a dividend in the company.

cryptocurrency regulation uk

US and other non-UK business will need to comply with the new requirements in order to access the UK market. The UK presently takes a benign approach to cross-border business in the UK. This will start to change in 2023 with the introduction of the new UK marketing rules and subsequently with the new authorisation requirements. Non-UK firms will need to navigate the new requirements and will find the UK less open to cross-border business. Financial services firms offering traditional services are increasingly subject to environmental, social and governance-related requirements.

UK Announces Proposals for Crypto Regulation

The country has been working on several aspects when it comes to regulation, including taxation. In September 2022, the government announced it would introduce remittance rules as early as May 2023 to prevent criminals from using cryptocurrency exchanges to launder money. The Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds will be revised to collect customer information.

Jack Schickler is a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. The industry has largely welcomed proposals that could cover crypto lending and NFTs, and force foreign companies to register and set up in the country. Treasury Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith told CNBC that the government hopes to set out specific legislation for crypto in the next 12 months. Sidley Austin LLP provides this information as a service to clients and other friends for educational purposes only.


Certain types of cryptoassets already fall within the existing scope of financial services regulations. For instance, security tokens, which provide rights akin to securities, are regulated under FSMA by virtue of falling within the scope of existing categories of specified investment. Relevant subsidiary legislation under FSMA will be amended to designate cryptoassets as a “specified investment”; correspondingly, persons carrying on specified activities in relation to cryptoassets by way of business will require authorisation under FSMA.

  • Unfortunately, the cautionary term “not your keys, not your crypto” has reached its realization in Court.
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  • Conversely, businesses are liable to pay for capital gains, corporation tax, income tax, national insurance contributions, stamp duty, and value-added tax.
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  • The MLRs define a cryptoasset ‘a cryptographically secured digital representation of value or contractual rights that uses a form of DLT and can be transferred, stored or traded electronically’.

The implementation of MLD5 brought CEPs and CWPs within scope of the MLRs as relevant persons; consequently, any person carrying out cryptoasset business that is captured in the definitions below are impacted. The IME is a statutory concession, which provides that a UK-based investment manager will not be treated as a UK representative of a non-resident fund, if certain conditions are met. These conditions include limits as to the types of transaction that can qualify for the IME.

Challenges and Techniques in Cryptocurrency Transaction Monitoring

All regulated firms undertaking cryptoasset activities will be required to disclose inside information and maintain a list of persons with access to such information. The Consultation also discusses the potential regulation of several other activities relating to cryptoassets. Upon arrival in the UK, individuals who carry more than £10,000 in cash must declare speed incontri the fact to HMRC. There are currently no border restrictions and no obligations to declare cryptoasset holdings, as they are not regarded as cash in this situation. Cryptoassets are not considered money, nor are they seen as equivalent to fiat currency in the UK. Divestibility would act as an indicator as to whether a digital asset could be a data object.

United Kingdom and Cryptocurrency

We accept no liability for any loss or damage which is incurred from you acting or not acting, as a result of reading any of our publications or positions on crypto-related activities. Biztech Lawyers provides the material on its web pages for information purposes only and not as legal advice. We not intend to create an attorney-client relationship with you, and you should not assume such a relationship or act on any material from these pages without seeking professional counsel. In Australia, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. District Court for the Southern District of New York found that the mere use by persons with no ties to the US, on a non-US issuer company, of email servers located in the US was enough for the US to have jurisdiction (SEC v. Straub). There’s an increasing talk by regulators that the same rationale can and should be used for validating the US as a jurisdiction for exchanges with US servers, even if Straub was a bribery case and not a general business jurisdiction case.


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