UK Regulators Plan “Comprehensive Response” to Illicit Crypto Use
Christopher Woolard of the United Kingdom (UK) Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has indicated that UK regulators are planning a “comprehensive response” to the illicit adoption of crypto assets amid increased adoption among local businesses and consumers. Despite announcing increased regulatory action regarding illegal use of crypto, Woolard stated he does not view crypto assets as a threat to financial stability.
UK Regulatory Institutions Collaborate to Assess Crypto
Speaking at the Regulation of Cryptocurrencies event in London, Christopher Woolard, the executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, stated that the regulator is planning to take significant action to crack down on the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.
In response to the dramatic increase of crypto adoption in recent years, Woolard stated that the FCA has sought to facilitate collaboration between itself and Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) and the Bank of England to examine the impact of cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology with regard to “consumers […] market integrity, and the risk of financial crime.”.
Woolard stated: “The FCA, HM Treasury and the Bank of England are each taking a number of steps over the coming months to address these harms and to encourage future beneficial innovation.”
Plans To Take Significant Action
Woolard announced that the HMT plans to take significant action against the use of cryptocurrency in the financing of illegal activities.
Woolard stated: “To combat financial crime risks, the treasury will undertake one of the most comprehensive responses globally to the use of crypto assets for illicit activities,” adding that the HMT will be “applying and going further than the existing directive, the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.”
Despite the firm tone, Woolard stated that he and the Financial Stability Board do not view cryptocurrencies as a threat, however, and emphasized the need for regulators to remain vigilant.
The FCA official also expressed his expectation that crypto assets will continue to see increased adoption among UK consumers and businesses.