Genesis Custody secures FCA approval as crypto-asset business

abdelaziz Fathi

Genesis Capital announced on Monday that its London-based custodian arm has obtained approval to operate a registered cryptoassets firm with the UK Financial Conduct Authority.

The move makes the New York–based cryptocurrency firm, which caters to institutional investors, among a handful of crypto asset firms that managed to receive such approval from the City watchdog. The nod from the UK financial regulator was a major hurdle for Genesis Custody to overcome.

Less than ten cryptocurrency-related companies are currently registered with Britain’s financial regulator. However, there are dozens of other crypto firms registered under the Temporary Registration Regime list. Genesis itself was listed on the FCA’s temporary crypto-asset business register.

Arianna Pretto-Sakmann, General Counsel at Genesis, backed the push for regulatory approval, further saying:

“This is an important milestone in our strategy to deliver to institutional clients cryptocurrency services that are compliant with the regulatory framework. This approval also reflects our commitment to working with regulators ー at the FCA and elsewhere ー as this asset class evolves. We will continue to do so as we expand our services in the coming months.”

A wave of consolidation in the crypto sapce

The new is significant because it marks another key step forward in Genesis’ roadmap to become a full-fledged prime brokerage that offers its clients a full suite of services, including crypto storage. In May 2020, Genesis acquired Vo1t, a London-based digital custody service provider, for an undisclosed sum.

The recent developments also coincide with a wave of consolidation in the crypto industry, where many big names are trying to position themselves as full-service firms.

“Genesis and Vo1t worked closely through 2020 and the beginning of 2021 to integrate VO1t’s proprietary technology into the broader Genesis ecosystem, with the custody solution broadly rolled out in May of 2021. Genesis’ custody solution has seen continued growth since then, with nearly 100 custody customers onboarded. Genesis Custody also saw a quarter-over-quarter growth of 50% in Q3 of 2021,” the company said in a statement.

Since January 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority has been tasked with overseeing Anti-Money Laundering compliance for the UK’s crypto sector. At the time, the FCA kicked off a registration scheme for crypto-asset firms with an initial deadline of one year.

Amid a backlog of licensing applications, the FCA has extended its temporary licensing regime until March 2022 for firms whose applications haven’t yet been approved to allow them to continue trading.

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