FCA chief says innovative firms want crypto regulation



Innovative firms see crypto regulation as a matter of high priority, the City regulator’s chief executive has said.

In a speech delivered to the Washington D.C. think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics, Nikhil Rathi (pictured) said that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is working on regulatory solutions for crypto assets.

Earlier this year, the FCA hosted a series of events with crypto experts called CryptoSprints.

“Participants told us they wanted a regulatory regime for crypto assets as a high priority – a matter that is not up to us to decide,” Rathi said.

Read more: FCA is not “anti-innovation”, claims Rathi

“They also want regulation phased in over time, to allow firms and investors to prepare and for the rules to fit the evolving crypto assets.

“In the past, innovative firms would have been pleading for less regulation. Now they understand and appreciate that rules are there to help provide certainty.”

Rathi said that the FCA is being redesigned so that it can “better adapt and collaborate, to address the threats, mitigate the shocks, and embrace opportunities – not just address issues after significant harm or risk has become embedded.”

Read more: FCA speeds up removal of firms’ permissions to protect consumers

He confirmed that the regulator is investing in its data and technology to improve the way that analytics are used, in order to speed up case management.

He added that the FCA continues to expand its team, and expects to have added almost 1,000 new colleagues by the end of the year in London, Edinburgh and Leeds.

“I’ve set out how we are becoming more innovative, adaptive, assertive and proactive,” said Rathi.

“We are just at the foothills of this journey, but have already changed our operational posture, are running more quickly to tackle complex issues, even if they are outside of our jurisdiction.

“And by maintaining high global standards, we remain a world leader in enabling innovation.”

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