Kraken’s London-based subsidiary, Crypto Facilities, has reportedly become the first firm to get a trading license from the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Kraken’s Crypto Facilities Becomes First in Europe With Trading License
According to Financial News on Monday (July 6, 2020), the Multilateral Trading Facility (MTF) license will enable the crypto futures platform to offer its derivatives market to institutional investors.
Timo Schlaefer, Chief Executive at Crypto Facilities, stated that it took the crypto company about two years to obtain the FCA approval. Schlaefer further said the UK financial regulatory was thorough during the process.
Commenting on the importance of the license, Schlaefer said:
“Traditional trading firms could have traded with Crypto Facilities before, but they might have internal compliance requirements that limit them to trading on regulated trading venues Many times, if some exchange gets some sort of payments license, they then announce it as them then being regulated.”
With the MTF license, Crypto Facilities becomes the first licensed crypto derivatives platform in Europe. Kraken, a major U.S.-based crypto exchange acquired Crypto Facilities in 2019, for $100 million.
While Kraken’s subsidiary scores a first with the FCA, the crypto exchange giant and the regulatory watchdog have had a scuffle in recent times. Early in 2020, the FCA was on a blacklisting spree to cleanse the market. Kraken was affected, as the financial watchdog declared that the crypto exchange was not licensed to operate in the country.
However, the exchange reacted quickly to the warning, with CEO Jesse Powell stating that the company had full authorization from the FCA. The regulatory body later retracted its warning.
FCA Keen on Policing Crypto Sector
The U.K. financial watchdog has been active in the cryptocurrency sector, issuing several warnings to the public about crypto investment scams and unlicensed platforms.
In 2019, the FCA announced its intention to ban the sale of various crypto derivatives products to retail investors. According to the FCA, such a ban could help protect investors from crypto’s volatile nature. This decision, however, was met with stiff opposition from stakeholders in the cryptocurrency industry.
Also, back in June 2020, the regulator asked crypto platforms operating in the U.K. to submit applications by June 30, 2020. Any businesses not registered with the financial regulatory by June 2021 will cease to exist. At the start of the year, the FCA became the anti-money laundering(AML) and counterterrorist financing (CTF) monitor for firms conducting crypto-related activities.
As reported by CryptoPotato, an FCA study published in June 2020 revealed that there has been a rise in crypto awareness among U.K. citizens. According to the report, only 27% of the population has never heard of cryptocurrency.