Revolut receives FCA’s go-ahead to launch crypto trading

abdelaziz Fathi

British fintech and banking firm Revolut has received a regulatory go-ahead to launch its cryptocurrency services in the UK.

Revolut

As ambitious as it may sound, Revolut has also secured regulatory nods in multiple jurisdictions, including most recently in Cyprus. It has also further expanded its cryptocurrency offering in the US with the addition of 29 new tokens.

Less than 40 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. Revolut itself was listed on the FCA’s temporary crypto-asset business register.

The FCA’s approval means that the fast-growing fintech is compliant with AML laws in the country, as far as its activities go. Revolut was required to show that it maintains the same anti-money laundering standards as regulated banks in the country have to meet.

“As with firms that were on the temporary register, firms that are on the full register are required to comply with the money laundering regulations. Revolut has agreed to a number of directions designed to ensure it has the systems and controls to meet the requirements of the money laundering regulations,” an FCA spokesperson said in a statement.

After restructuring the crypto product to fit Europe’s AMLD5 regulations, the London headquartered firm is offering its full-fledged digital money platform in the UK. Revolut, which is valued at $33 billion, says it will allow users to buy, hold and sell over 80 tokens through its app in “a responsible manner” and help them understand the risks involved. Its platform charges a 2.5% transaction fee for “standard” customers and 1.5% fee for “premium” and “metal” customers.

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However, nearly 70 crypto businesses had withdrawn earlier submitted filings for registration as the country tightens its regulation on the space.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.

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.

Meanwhile, the UK Government plans to toughen up rules on crypto advertising that could be considered misleading. The Exchequer is proposing to bring the promotion of crypto-assets into the scope of the FCA’s existing oversight, rather than creating a new framework specifically for these products.

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