Bitcoin regulation issues have finally arrived to Europe, but not by the hand of governments or authorities. It’s the British leading Bitcoin exchanges the ones asking for regulation. They want the seal of approval of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): their goal is to conquer the same status as other firms in the financial sector, rushing the growth of cryptocurrency.
However, the FCA is reluctant. The institution doesn’t want to approve a licence for a Bitcoin exchange yet, saying that is not within its powers to regulate services and businesses with connections to the digital coin.
According to the chief executive of Bitstamp, which is the world’s second largest Bitcoin exchange by volume, the leading businesses fighting for regulation “have hired a company to have the dialogue with the FCA”. Nejc Kodric says that the British firms and the authority “have an open dialogue”, but the companies already have “an opinion from [the FCA] – and that opinion is that they cannot do anything right now”.
But they’re not about go give up so soon. “The FCA understands Bitcoin and has looked at it. But they are still deciding how to approach it and how to define it. So we adopt the principles and self-regulate”, Nejc Kodric adds.
Tom Robinson, from the UK?start-up Bitprice, confirms this idea, while remembering he wants his company to become the first FCA-approved Bitcoin exchange in the United Kingdom. “If you go to them with a business model they will give you advice. They’re still waiting to see how big virtual currencies are going to be. Based on the advice they have given us we feel we’ve complied with what they need”, he says.
Let’s wait to see the FCA’s answer.