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Compliance Firms Boosted by New UK Crypto Rules

2 mins
Updated by Geraint Price
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In Brief

  • Only three companies have been authorized to help crypto businesses comply with the Financial Conduct Authority's crypto advertising rules.
  • Gateway21 is a niche hopeful, as established firms forge key partnerships or expand their compliance headcount to promote cryptocurrencies.
  • The SEC's decision to not appeal a ruling overturning its decision on Grayscale's Bitcoin ETF conversion may expedite the next bull market.
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Global crypto exchanges looking to abide by new UK advertising rules are increasing demand for compliance advisers. Three such companies are raking in cash as demand outstrips supply.

Abrdn-backed Archax, one of the companies the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has authorized to review crypto advertisements, recently upsized its compliance team to cope with the influx of work. Archax serves prominent exchanges Coinbase and OKX.

Compliance Companies Relish Profits

Englebert, a crypto consultancy, has tapped advisory firm Helford Capital to meet the UK’s new digital asset rules. Crypto start-up Gateway21 has applied to specialize in this market niche.

Compliance companies must go through a largely manual process when contracted, depending on the number of coins an exchange lists, says Archax’s chief marketing officer, Simon Barnaby. However, the scarcity of companies means a handful can cash in, argues lawyer Charles Kerrigan.

“It’s a smart way of making money as in there are very few service providers and many firms that need it.”

The FCA introduced new financial promotion rules on Oct. 8 that only allow authorized firms to release crypto advertisements. The move is expected to be the first of many crypto rulesets after the approval of the Financial Services and Markets bill this year.

UK Crypto Compliance, FCA UK Alerts 2022
FCA alerts 2022 | Source: UK Financial Conduct Authority

After enacting the new rules, the FCA issued alerts for 150 unauthorized crypto promoters. Companies that secured licenses before the new rules became effective automatically qualified.

SEC Contests Security Labeling

The FCA’s squeeze follows the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposals to refine the names of new financial products. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler argued that old names describing new products may harm investors.

Read more: Everything You Need To Know About Ripple vs. SEC

The SEC decided not to appeal a ruling that said its reasons for rejecting Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust exchange-traded fund conversion were “arbitrary” and capricious.” Its decision could speed up the next crypto bull market if experts’ predictions about the approval of several Bitcoin ETFs this year come true.

Read more: A Guide to Bullish Candlestick Patterns in Technical Analysis

In the meantime, exchanges must remain well-capitalized. Coinbase recently rolled out leverage futures trading to non-US customers, while Binance onboarded Polygon-based USDC, a move expected to attract corporate trading revenues.

Do you have something to say about UK crypto compliance, the new SEC labeling proposal, or anything else? Please write to us or join the discussion on our Telegram channel. You can also catch us on TikTokFacebook, or X (Twitter).

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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