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UK financial watchdog eases restrictions on crypto-backed exchange-traded notes

TL;DR

  • UK’s financial watchdog allows professional investors to trade crypto ETNs, but retail investors are still excluded.
  • Industry welcomes the decision but emphasizes the need for broader accessibility to crypto assets in the UK market.
  • FCA maintains a ban on offering crypto ETNs to retail investors, citing significant harms in the crypto market.

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced its decision to permit professional investors to trade crypto exchange-traded notes (ETNs) offered by recognized investment exchanges (RIEs). This move, unveiled on March 11, signals a significant step towards integrating cryptocurrency-related products into the UK’s regulated financial environment.

Industry figures within the crypto space have largely welcomed the FCA’s decision, viewing it as a positive development for the broader adoption of crypto assets. However, concerns linger regarding excluding retail investors from accessing these financial products.

Partial victory for crypto adoption amid regulatory conditions

Under current European regulatory conditions, offering exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for single assets like Bitcoin and Ether is prohibited. Consequently, ETNs emerge as the favored exchange-traded product (ETP) in regions like the European Union and the UK. With the FCA’s green light, traditional finance institutions and UK traders may soon enjoy easier access to crypto-tied financial products.

Despite the FCA’s cautious approach towards the crypto industry, the UK government has ambitions to establish the country as a global hub for crypto asset technology. However, the FCA’s decision to restrict access to crypto ETNs to professional investors only reflects a hesitancy to embrace broader retail participation in the crypto market.

While industry insiders appreciate the FCA’s move, there are calls for more inclusive measures to be implemented. George McDonaugh, co-founder of KR1, emphasized the importance of enfranchising more companies into UK markets to fulfill the country’s ambition of becoming a global crypto industry hub.

FCA’s stance on crypto derivatives for retail investors

The FCA’s cautious stance towards crypto derivatives for retail investors, as evidenced by its ban on offering crypto ETNs to this demographic, remains unchanged. The regulatory body cites significant harms in the crypto market as the rationale behind maintaining this ban.

Despite the current ban, there remains hope within the industry that the FCA will reconsider its position on allowing retail investors access to crypto ETNs. However, the FCA asserts that it will continue to review its stance on crypto ETNs for retail consumers.

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 decisions.

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Ibrahim Abdulaziz

A fervent advocate, Ibrahim shares his wealth of knowledge on crypto and blockchain technology in an engaging and informative style. He frequents places where influencers gather for his next scoop. His vision is that the decentralized nature, security features, and potential for financial inclusion will drive widespread massive crypto adoption.

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