UK Regulator Considers Cryptocurrency Derivatives Ban Due to Market ‘Integrity Issues’

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The U.K.’s finance regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), may ban cryptocurrency derivatives such as futures as part of its “most comprehensive response” to the industry, financial trading news outlet Finance Magnates reported Nov. 20.

In a speech at a London conference Tuesday, FCA executive director of strategy and competition Christopher Woolard said the organization would consult on forbidding so-called cryptocurrency contracts-for-difference (CFDs).

This, says Finance Magnates, would “likely” also incorporate “options, futures and transferable securities.” The publication quoted Woolard as saying:

“We’re concerned that retail consumers are being sold complex, volatile and often leveraged derivatives products based on exchange tokens with underlying market integrity issues.”

The U.K. has found itself in a regulatory quandary over its slow response to the grow in popularity of cryptocurrency and associated instruments, with various factions criticizing the FCA’s priorities and intentions as they have surfaced so far.

In Tuesday’s speech, Woolard was outlining the findings of a dedicated “Taskforce” which began formulating recommendations in March. The idea of a ban on crypto derivatives first surfaced in October, Cointelegraph reported.

The group had delineated cryptocurrencies into three types, Woolard noted, constituting “exchange tokens” such as Bitcoin (BTC), “security tokens,” and “utility tokens.”

Regarding unauthorized use of tokens, Woolard additionally announced plans to take on what he called “one of the most comprehensive responses globally to the use of cryptoassets for illicit activities.”

A recent survey meanwhile showed that knowledge, ownership, and awareness of Bitcoin among British consumers has markedly increased.

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