Marketing Cryptoassets Regulated by UK

July 2023

At the beginning of July a letter from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was revealed which contained legal guidance for those involved with promoting cryptoassets, including the date from which the new legislation will take effect and harsh penalties for those transgressing the rules set out.

As detailed in the letter, from the 8th of October any business promoting cryptoassets to consumers in the UK will be required to comply with at least one of the following restrictions, no matter what jurisdiction they originate in: 

  • The promoter has been given permission by either the FCA or the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), or by someone that those bodies have approved. 
  • The promoter is a cryptoasset business which has been registered with the FCA under its money laundering regulations. 
  • The promotion meets the criteria of a specific financial promotion exemption. 

Deemed ‘high risk’, promotions will be required to carry warnings, include cooling-off periods for first time investors and other safeguards in addition to guidance released previously, for the safety of the target audience. Those who fail to comply with the requirements will face harsh penalties from the FCA, starting with being required to take down websites, social media accounts, apps and promotions, to up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. 

This crackdown will no doubt lead to a decrease in phenomena such as celebrity endorsements of crypto - an area which has seen its fair share of legal action over the past year with celebrities touting crypto without revealing they were paid to do so - but, importantly, it continues the trend of regulation in the UK being introduced to legitimize the crypto and blockchain sphere and to protect consumers, which is a vital step in enabling the eventual mass-adoption of crypto- and blockchain-based solutions. 

Facilitating regulation and improving safety in the crypto and blockchain ecosystem is at the core of Blockpass’ goals. By enabling the verification of identities, Blockpass allows businesses to ensure their customers are legitimate and that they comply with the standards set by the jurisdictions they operate in. Providing a simple, secure and efficient means to instantly vet potential customers allows companies the opportunity to choose how and where their business operates; those wishing to operate in a country can show they meet the required regulatory standards through Blockpass’ KYC/AML solutions, whereas those that wish to avoid users in specific jurisdictions due to restrictions (such as this new cryptoasset marketing requirement from the UK or those wanting to avoid potential issues with US customers) can also use Blockpass’ identity verification solutions to make sure none of their customers are citizens of those areas. Either way, being able to prove the identity of users has never been more important and this trend in increasing regulatory requirements shows no signs of slowing down, but Blockpass is perfectly positioned to enable anyone to prove their legitimacy and compliance. 

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By Matthew Warner