UK's FCA proposes guidelines for regulating digital securities, stablecoins

23 Jan, 2019
by David Borman
UK's FCA proposes guidelines for regulating digital securities, stablecoins

It is being reported by Coindesk that the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published proposed guidelines on how to define and regulate at least some cryptocurrencies. The regulations effectively cover any coin that can be deemed a security, and possibly stablecoins or any coin that can be shown to be used as e-money.

The FCA said it is putting out the proposed guidelines in order to bring some clarity and confidence into the blossoming crypto realm. Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition, is quoted within the article:

"This is a small but growing market and we want both industry and consumers to be clear what is regulated, and what isn’t. This is vital if consumers are to know what protections they’ll benefit from and in ensuring we have a market functioning as it should."

Strictly speaking the FCA isn't looking to regulate what it calls "exchange tokens," like Bitcoin and Litecoin, as it does not see them as currency and so not under their jurisdiction. The proposal mainly seeks to regulate securities, which covers many ICOs and tokens in the space. These, it says, should fall under the same regulations that securities have always fallen under.

It does state that in certain cases stablecoins can be considered a form of e-money and therefore regulated but it would assume sufficient funds to back the stablecoin and/or have ample "algorithms that maintain the supply of the token."

The FCA is now seeking public comment through April 5th on the matter, after which time presumably a decision will be made.

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