The regulator announced a ban that will limit the distribution of any derivatives, options, and futures, exchange traded notes or any regulated or unregulated crypto assets.
The FCA now prohibits the sale and marketing of such assets, and specifically Bitcoin, Ether and Ripple.
A transitional period has been granted until January 6, 2021 when the measure will come into effect.
Motivating its decision, the FCA added that the “inherent nature of the underlying assets, which means they have no reliable basis for valuation” has convinced the operator to act in consumers' best interest.
Specifically, the FCA believes that the prevalence of financial crime facilitated by cryptocurrencies and volatility posed dangers to consumers who lack the means to analyse a crypto transaction.
Commenting on the decision, FCA interim Executive Director of Strategy and Competition Sheldon Mills had this to add:
“This ban reflects how seriously we view the potential harm to retail consumers in these products. Consumer protection is paramount here.”
Industry experts have already called the proposal a “blow to the crypto world,” citing strong opposition from the industry in the first place.
Yet, Laith Khalaf from AJ Bell, an investment platform, acknowledged that the FCA's concerns about consumers are well-grounded, given how easily less experienced individuals may jump on the crypto bandwagon.
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