NEW crypto peer-to-peer lenders in the UK must register with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) from today (10 January) under new anti-money laundering rules (MLR) for the crypto-assets sector.
It follows a report from the government’s cryptoassets taskforce in 2018, which alongside the FCA, said it would look to extend anti-money laundering rules to firms dealing in cryptocurrencies and related assets.
All new cryptoasset businesses that intend to carry on a cryptoasset activity after 10 January 2020 must be registered before any activity can be carried out.
Existing cryptoasset businesses which were already carrying on cryptoasset activity may continue with that business, in compliance with the money laundering regulations, but must be registered by 10 January 2021, or stop all cryptoasset activity.
“All UK cryptoasset businesses carrying on activities in scope of the MLRs will need to register with us from 10 January 2020,” the City watchdog said.
“Our responsibility under this regime will be limited to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervision and enforcement only.
“Registration under the MLRs does not mean that customers will benefit from the protections of the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.”
P2P lenders are currently using cryptoassets in various ways. For example, ETHLend lets users post cryptocoins as collateral while Lee Birkett, founder of JustUs and online adviser Moneybrain, has unveiled the BiPs token, which will use blockchain technology to facilitate global payments.