The U.k government has proposed new legal measures to regulate crypto ads and prohibit unauthorized crypto providers from offering services.
Minister Andrew Griffith’s amendments to his own bill on Friday were welcomed by an industry that had called for existing proposals to go beyond stablecoins, which are payments-focused cryptoassets that seek to maintain value in relation to fiat currencies.
According to an explanatory note tabled by Griffith and published Friday as an amendment to the Financial Services and Markets Bill, the measures amend existing laws to “clarify that the powers relating to financial promotion and regulated activities can be relied on to regulate cryptoassets and activities relating to cryptoassets.” It is illegal to engage in regulated financial activities without permission under UK laws dating back to 2000.
The measures are likely to be well received by a sector that has been pleading for greater regulatory certainty, as the European Union has already provided with its Markets in Crypto Assets law (MiCA).
“The amendments enable the Treasury and FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] to introduce a full regulatory regime for crypto, a hugely positive step,” Nicholas Taylor, head of public policy at crypto exchange Luno told CoinDesk in an emailed statement. Luno is owned by CoinDesk’s parent company, the Digital Currency Group.
Andrew Jackson of fintech industry group Innovate Finance also drew attention to the lacuna at a hearing on the bill Wednesday.
Regulators have also been itching to extend their powers to cover crypto. In August the FCA went so far as to set out the restrictions it wants to put on crypto ads, in advance of legislation.
The resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was announced on Thursday, may have an impact on the bill’s committee discussion, which is scheduled to take place between now and November 3. Next week’s deadline for the selection of a successor could signal a shift in other ministerial roles.