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Incoming UK FCA Chair Ashley Alder Hammers Crypto Industry

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • The incoming head of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority had a remote meeting with the Treasury on Wednesday.
  • During the session, he referred to crypto organizations as "deliberately evasive."
  • His crypto scepticism is potentially at odds with the new UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
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The incoming head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a violent broadside against the wider crypto industry. Potentially setting the stage for a showdown with the UK government and UK-based crypto companies.

Ashley Alder told a meeting of the Treasury Select Committee that, in his experience, crypto platforms were “deliberately evasive.” Large organizations within the industry are complicit in money laundering on a large scale, he said. Alder also suggested that crypto firms in the UK faced an uphill battle as the FCA assumes more regulatory powers.

Crypto Perspective at Odds With Prime Minister 

This may put Alder on a collision course with the UK government and the new UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak. The fresh-faced premier has previously stated his commitment to making the UK an innovative crypto hub. In a statement at the time, Sunak was quoted as saying:

“We want to see the businesses of tomorrow – and the jobs they create – here in the UK, and by regulating effectively we can give them the confidence they need to think and invest long-term.”

rishi Sunak British PM Crypto Friendly

As the country’s finance minister, Sunak was a vocal supporter of crypto and CBDCs. In April of this year, he and City Minister John Glen released a wide-ranging plan to put the UK at the forefront of crypto regulation. 

Alder refused to elaborate on whether he was on a collision course with the UK government. 

Who is Ashley Alder?

Ashley Alder was appointed to the role of Chair of the FDA in July and is expected to take up his post in January 2023. He currently serves as the head of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and also chairs the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

His in-tray will include regulating the exploding world of crypto assets, DeFi, and scrutinizing the rise of buy-now-pay-later retail debt.

In his current Hong Kong role, Alder took a similarly bold stance against crypto-fuelled money laundering. In May of last year, the SFC moved to license virtual asset service providers (VASP) and restrict their dealings with retail customers.

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.
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