FCA boss Andrew Bailey hints on crypto regs
The chief exec of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Andrew Bailey said this morning the FCA was looking closely at cryptoasset legislation – though Bailey offered no concrete indications of when regulations would land and what form they would take still.
Bailey hinted strongly that upcoming legislation would likely be strongly tilted towards consumer protection. “We are keen to see the potential of their underlying technology, and do not rule out roles for cryptoassets themselves,” he said at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster.
“But the risks are evident too: not least in the question of whether the consumers who use them understand the asset and price volatility they involve.”
“Not a currency”
Bailey said he and his team were working closely with the Treasury and Bank of England to assess the issues “and come up with appropriate responses”.
Bailey has warned against crypto investment in the past, likening crypto investment to gambling.
“It’s not a currency, it’s actually not regulated in its bitcoin form,” Bailey told BBC Newsnight. “It’s a very volatile commodity in terms of its pricing. If you look at what has happened this year, I would caution people,” he said.
His words, reported on 14 December, were prescient, given Bitcoin’s precipitous plunge shortly after.
Bailey presided over the UK’s new Cryptoassets Taskforce first meeting in late May. The taskforce’s objectives include exploring “potential benefits and challenges of the application of distributed ledger technology in financial services, and assessing what, if any, regulation is required in response”.