The UK Financial Conduct Authority has granted operational licenses to two cryptocurrency exchanges. Those are the UK-based digital security exchange Archax and the UK branch of the Winklevoss twins’ Gemini.
Archax Regulated By The FCA
As announced yesterday, the UK Archax platform became the “first-ever FCA regulated digital securities exchange and custodian” in the country. Consequently, digital issuances from across the world will be able to trade on an FCA authorized secondary market. Institutions will also be able to employ the trading platform to enter the digital securities space.
Additionally, the company noted that it had received an FCA crypto-asset registration. Thus, it has become a fully compliant virtual asset service provider (VASP).
“We have been talking to the FCA for a while, and the application process has been a tough journey, but we are pleased to have now achieved our first significant milestone as we prepare to launch the UK’s first FCA regulated digital securities exchange later this year.
Our technology partners are second to none, we have a pipeline of 35 digital issuances in place, and we are signing up global brokers and market makers ready for go-live.” – commented Archax CEO Graham Rodford.
Digital securities utilize blockchain technology to tokenize traditional assets such as equity, debt, or funds. According to the statement, this process “modernizes and simplifies the capital-raising process via disintermediation, removes frictions, and helps facilitate liquidity in assets that are currently hard to trade.”
Gemini Appears On FCA’s Approved List
Shortly after Archax’s announcement, Gemini’s UK branch (Gemini Europe Limited) also appeared on the FCA’s website as a licensed cryptocurrency exchange. To comply with the amended anti-money laundering rules, the Winklevoss’ platform has registered with the watchdog as all digital asset platforms have until January 10th, 2021, to receive such licenses.
It’s worth noting that FCA registrations are mandatory as of January 10th, 2020, when the regulator became the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) supervisor of cryptocurrency-related businesses. The watchdog said at the time that if such companies fail to register with the FCA within the one-year deadline, they will have to “cease carrying on business.”