UK’s FCA Extends Temporary Relief to Crypto Firms till March 2022

The United Kingdom’s financial market regulator has extended the Temporary Registrations Regime (TRR) for existing crypto companies that will be allowed to operate until March 31, 2022, even if they are not approved.

Thursday’s announcement by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) came as the approval process is substantially delayed on the part of the regulator.

Initially, the FCA set the registration deadline for January 10, 2021, mandating all existing and new crypto companies to register before that, but that plan was scrapped as the regulator was overwhelmed with applications, and the review process got delayed due to the impact of the pandemic.

Instead, the market watchdog introduced the TRR scheme last December, allowing the crypto companies that already submitted registration applications with it to operate until July 9, 2021, which has now been extended.

“The extended date allows crypto-asset firms to continue to carry on business while the FCA continues with its robust assessment,” the FCA stated.

Crypto Businesses Waiting for Approval

In addition, the regulator elaborated that ‘a significantly high number of [crypto] businesses’ are not meeting the required standards of the Money Laundering Laws and are withdrawing their applications.

“The FCA will only register firms where it is confident that processes are in place to identify and prevent this activity,” the regulator added.

However, the regulator did not address the delay on its part in approving the crypto companies for their UK operations. Moreover, a UK Member of Parliament pushed chancellor Rishi Sunak over continued delays in the FCA’s crypto register.

Only a handful of crypto businesses, including Gemini and Archax, have been cleared by the regulator to date.

Meanwhile, the FCA is worried about the mass interest in cryptocurrencies and sounded an alarm over the risks associated with these investments. Furthermore, it has banned the retail sale of cryptocurrency derivatives, citing the lack of retail investors’ knowledge about these risky investment products.

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