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UK FCA greenlights crypto ETNs for institutional investors

TL;DR

  • The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has approved the establishment of a market segment for crypto asset-backed ETNs by Recognised Investment Exchanges.
  • This move allows investment firms and credit institutions to access new investment products, specifically exchange-traded notes tracking cryptocurrencies.
  • The London Stock Exchange is set to accept applications for Bitcoin and Ether backed ETNs in the upcoming second quarter.

 

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced its decision not to oppose Recognised Investment Exchanges (RIEs) in establishing a listed market segment for crypto asset-backed exchange-traded notes (ETNs). This development, disclosed in a recent press release, marks a pivotal moment for professional investors looking to deepen their involvement in the digital asset space.

UK FCA sets stage for regulated crypto ETNs

The FCA’s announcement paves the way for investment firms and credit institutions to access a new class of investment products. ETNs, which are exchange-traded products typically issued by banks or investment managers, track the performance of underlying assets or indexes. The introduction of crypto asset-backed ETNs is expected to provide professional investors with a regulated mechanism to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies, enhancing the breadth of investment strategies available in the market.

The London Stock Exchange has confirmed its readiness to accept applications for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) backed ETNs starting in the second quarter of this year. This move comes as Bitcoin and Ether prices surge, with Bitcoin breaking past the $71,000 mark and Ether crossing $4,000. The UK FCA has tasked exchanges with ensuring that adequate controls are in place to maintain orderly trading and to protect professional investors adequately.

Regulatory stance on retail participation

Despite the opening for professional investors, the UK FCA maintains a cautious stance towards retail participation in crypto asset-backed ETNs. The regulator reiterates its view that such products are not suitable for retail consumers, citing the high risks associated with cryptocurrency investments. As a result, the ban on the sale of crypto ETNs to retail consumers remains in effect, underscoring the FCA’s commitment to consumer protection in the volatile crypto market.

The FCA has also issued a reminder regarding the high-risk nature of cryptocurrencies, advising investors to be prepared for the possibility of losing all their invested capital. This cautionary stance reflects the regulator’s ongoing efforts to balance the potential benefits of innovation in the financial sector with the need to protect investors from undue risks.

The FCA’s decision to allow the creation of a crypto asset-backed ETN market segment for professional investors signifies a notable shift towards the institutional acceptance of cryptocurrencies. It offers a regulated avenue for investment in digital assets, potentially attracting more institutional capital into the cryptocurrency market. However, the continued exclusion of retail investors highlights the regulatory challenges and concerns associated with the broader adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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