UK regulator gives selected firms extensions as crypto register deadline nears


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The UK’s top financial regulator said on Wednesday it has extended the deadline for a select number of firms as its anti-money laundering cryptoasset registration process winds up. 

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In an update on its website the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it has concluded its assessments for most firms on the temporary register, which closes on Friday. A small number will continue to have temporary registration “where it is strictly necessary.”

Extensions may be necessary where a firm is pursuing an appeal or has particular winding-down circumstances, the regulator said. 

The FCA declined to comment on which firms would be granted the grace period. 

The update rounds off a protracted period of limbo for many crypto firms in the UK. The official, twice-revised deadline by which companies must either cease trading or get approved as part of the FCA’s anti-money laundering regime falls on March 31. Being part of the temporary register has allowed firms to carry on in the UK while awaiting a final decision on applications from the watchdog. 

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Wirex, B2C2 and Blockchain.com are among companies which have withdrawn applications to be regulated in the UK in favour of other jurisdictions. 

Several big players in the crypto market — including neobank Revolut and Copper, the custodian — are still listed on the temporary register, awaiting a final decision.

As cited in earlier reports by The Block, a person familiar with the matter said that Revolut expects to continue selling crypto services beyond the March 31 deadline. Copper, meanwhile, recently set up an entity in crypto-friendly Switzerland that could offer a fallback option if its application fails.

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