JustUs’s sister company Moneybrain is among the six cryptoasset firms left on the City regulator’s extended temporary register.
On 30 March, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that it will extend its Temporary Registrations Regime (TRR) past its original 31 March deadline for firms that are appealing the watchdog’s registration process or that are currently winding down.
The FCA told Moneybrain it can continue trading under the list until a decision notice is issued, it is added to the register, or withdraws its application.
On 30 March, there were 12 firms on the FCA’s temporary register. By 1 April, only six remained on the refined list. These comprise Moneybrain, Revolut, CEX.IO, Copper Technologies (UK), GlobalBlock and ITI Digital.
They have been trading, and will continue doing so, under the TRR, as they have not been added to the FCA’s Crypto Asset Register. Moneybrain is appealing on the grounds that the registration has not yet been made.
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“All these six firms are highly competent, you only have to look at the directors,” said Lee Birkett (pictured), founder and chief executive of Moneybrain.
“We have confidence we meet all the criteria, but once it’s in an appeal process it could take years. I think we can all do Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering, we’re not financing terrorists.
“If we were doing anything wrong, they’d shut us down. The other interesting thing is what’s going to happen with the other 100 applications? Will they be added to the temporary register?
“UK crypto has been put on hold I think pending an announcement from the Treasury in the next few weeks and I think it will be to do with stablecoin regulation.”
On the TRR webpage, the City regulator said the list contains details of all cryptoasset firms with temporary registration to carry out cryptoasset activities specified under the amended Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
The FCA said this list “does not mean that the FCA has assessed them as fit and proper”.
The TRR was set up in 2020 to allow existing cryptoasset firms that applied for registration before 16 December 2020, and whose applications were still being assessed, to continue trading. In June, the watchdog extended the deadline from 9 July last year to 31 March 2022 to allow firms to continue to operate while the regulator continued with its “robust assessment”.
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The Treasury select committee of MPs has previously said the registration of cryptoasset firms has been too slow.
In its Economic Crime Eleventh Report of Session 2021–22 published in January, the committee said the FCA should not extend the deadline for registration again beyond March 2022 and if the regulator sees no alternative, it should write to the committee to explain its position.
However, earlier this week, Mel Stride MP, chair of the Treasury select committee, told the Financial Times that it was disappointing to hear that the FCA hasn’t fully met its own already-extended deadline and that he looks forward to receiving a full explanation for the delay.