The FCA’s final Guidance on Cryptoassets clarifies which types of cryptoassets the FCA considers to fall within the existing UK regulatory perimeter. In many ways, the Guidance simply confirms the status quo, as it reiterates the need to carry out a substantive analysis of the characteristics of a particular cryptoasset or token against the pre-existing UK regulatory framework. Indeed, it is not within the FCA’s gift to extend the UK regulatory perimeter; that power lies with HM Treasury, which is expected to consult on whether to bring further types of cryptoassets within scope of UK regulation later this year.
Nevertheless, the FCA Guidance does provide a useful insight into the way in which the FCA expects firms to approach this regulatory analysis, as well as some of the FCA’s key concerns and areas of focus where firms engage in business relating to both regulated and unregulated cryptoassets. It is likely to be a useful reference guide for firms seeking to structure tokens or cryptoassets in a particular manner and for firms dealing with or providing services in relation to such cryptoassets.