TP ICAP’s crypto arm receives FCA’s go-ahead

abdelaziz Fathi

UK interdealer broker TP ICAP has received a regulatory go-ahead to launch its cryptocurrency services in the UK. The bid shows that the recent collapse of FTX exchange has done little to damp the interest of big names in running their own crypto business.

TP ICAP’s wholesale marketplace for spot digital assets, Fusion Digital Assets, has registered as a crypto exchange provider with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The institutional-only trading venue will be operated by London-based broker Tullett Prebon (Europe) Limited.

“Until now the wholesale digital assets market has lacked the credible infrastructure and assurance necessary for them to allocate capital,” Duncan Trenholme, co-head of digital assets at TP ICAP Group, said.

TP ICAP has jumped into the crypto space in June last year with plans to set up a wholesale cryptocurrency trading platform together with Flow Traders and two digital asset custodians, Fidelity Digital Assets and Zodia Custody.

Less than 50 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.

The UK regulator has come under pressure as 85% of licence applications from crypto trading firms have either been rejected or withdrawn.

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However, nearly 70 crypto businesses had withdrawn earlier submitted filings for registration as the country tightens its regulation on the space.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