Payment firm MoonPay wins UK registration to offer crypto

abdelaziz Fathi

Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved the crypto operations of exchange and web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay, a key step for the British fintech’s ambitions to expand in the space.

The registration comes after MoonPay spent months relying on temporary permission to operate its cryptoasset business. The Miami-based crypto payments company was among a dozen firms that received an extension to get their applications or affairs in order after a March deadline passed.

MoonPay now joins 39 other crypto companies granted permanent registration by the UK watchdog. More than one hundred firms had applied, with many pulling out or seeking European Union approval instead.

The UK regulator has come under pressure as 85% of licence applications from crypto trading firms have either been rejected or withdrawn. However, there are dozens of other crypto firms registered under the Temporary Registration Regime list.

MoonPay, which values itself at $3.4 billion, is backed by investments from NBA star Paul George, former tennis star Maria Sharapova, and musicians Drake and Justin Bieber.

With MoonPay, non-native crypto firms can reduce barriers to crypto adoption by offering a simple and secure solution that lets people buy and sell crypto using payment methods they’re familiar with, like credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Additionally, MoonPay’s payments infrastructure provides a seamless and easily understood experience to investors to convert between fiat, cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), further lowering the barrier to entry into the world of web3 early investing. MoonPay also enables users to buy and stake to purchase 100+ virtual assets natively on the platform with minimal fuss.

Since January 2020, the City watchdog has become the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor of UK’s crypto asset firms. At the time, the FCA kicked off a registration scheme for crypto-asset firms with an initial deadline of one year.

However, nearly 70 crypto businesses had withdrawn earlier submitted filings for registration as the country tightens its regulation on the space. By retracting their applications, these firms had to cease operation in the UK, though more than 200 firms are still being assessed by the FCA.

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