The UK’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has just awarded its third e-money license to date.
This time, the beneficiary was crypto company Wirex, who produces prepaid debit cards for converting crypto to fiat, hot on the heels of Coinbase who received its license in March.
We are more than proud to announce that Wirex Limited is only the third #crypto-friendly company in the world to have been granted an FCA e-money licence ✅✅
What does this mean for us? And more importantly, for you? https://t.co/NC2VivcG93
— Wirex (@wirexapp) August 23, 2018
The Coinbase thumbs up from the FCA, unlike the Wirex license, doesn’t relate to cryptocurrency dealings. This enables the crypto company’s access to the UK’s faster payment system for supporting pound sterling, although this is still not available for most users who still can only transfer funds to UK Banks from Coinbase using euros, thus incurring an extra transaction fee.
However, many potential clients are dissuaded from signing up to platforms such as Coinbase due to lengthy verification processes, sometimes waiting many weeks before a user’s bank can be verified and linked for payments.
The FCA’s UK fintech sandbox was established along with the licensing program earlier in the year and then updated later to include two British crypto companies, Globacap and BlockEx, who are currently developing their blockchain applications for financial services.
Although the watchdog is proactive in giving new UK crypto companies opportunities to develop and operate within the UK and globally, with 40$ of latest sandbox companies being blockchain-related, warnings are still being issued to the public regarding crypto scams.
Also, the regulator has accepted a small number of crypto-assets related firms as the FCA suggested that it is “keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks”.
A warning was issued last week by the FCA regarding fraudsters, many of which have targeted known figures such as Amstrad Boss and Apprentice host Sir Allen Sugar and other UK media personalities.
Efforts made by the British financial watchdog and its collaborations with government branches indicate that the United Kingdom is to become a significant player in the global movement to create industry regulation frameworks and business innovations.
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