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UK

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Last month, the UK Law Commission (the “Commission”) launched a consultation paper as part of its latest project to address any uncertainty as to the formalities around the electronic execution of documents. Specifically, the consultation seeks views on the electronic execution of documents where legislation prescribes that a document must be signed or executed as a deed. In England and Wales there is a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to executing documents and…

In February 2018, the UK Treasury Committee launched an inquiry into digital currencies.¬† In the course of its inquiry the Committee received oral and written evidence from a number of key players in the crypto space, including representatives from Ripple, CryptoUK and Blockchain, together with evidence from the FCA (the UK financial services regulator), the Bank of England and HM Treasury. Earlier than expected, the Treasury Committee published its crypto-assets report and conclusions and recommendations…

On 11 June, the UK’s financial services regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), published a “Dear CEO letter” providing guidance on how banks should handle the financial crime risks associated with cryptoassets. The FCA is concerned that cryptoassets are being used in criminal activities such as money laundering or terrorist financing. The regulator expects banks to take reasonable and proportionate measures to lessen the risk of facilitating such crimes. The FCA notes that where banks…

The UK government launched its first FinTech Sector Strategy in March 2018. One plank of its strategy was to create a Cryptoassets Task Force formed of representatives of the Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority. The Task Force is intended to help the UK be at the forefront of harnessing the potential benefits of the new technology, while guarding against potential risks. In particular, the Task Force is expected to assess…

To date, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK financial services regulator has made clear (via its Feedback statement on DLT) that cryptocurrencies are not currently regulated, provided they are not part of any other regulated products or services. Nonetheless it has published a series of consumer warnings¬† – on ICOs and the risks of investing in cryptocurrency CFDs. On April 6, 2018 the FCA issued a further statement warning that, in its view, cryptocurrency…

In April 2017, England’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a Discussion Paper (“DP”) on DLT which sought views on the regulatory implications of DLT developments in financial markets and considered the potential risks and benefits of DLT applications. The FCA received 47 responses to the DP from a range of market participants and on 15 December 2017 the FCA published its Feedback Statement. No need to change rules In its Feedback Statement, the FCA points…