The Financial Conduct Authority, UK’s financial regulator is investigating 18 companies who are involved in cryptocurrency transactions, the Financial Times reports. The probe is being conducted due to the growing concerns with market risks.
Although the transfer, purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies is not regulated in the UK, companies that sell investments that are regulated by the government with cryptocurrency element will have to be authorised by the FCA.
According to the FT report, the FCA has warned about more than 12 companies whom they suspect to be conducting cryptocurrency investment related scams.
The report also cited the Sunday Telegraph obtaining some details from the FCA through a Freedom of Information request. The information says that the FCA had conducted investigation into 67 cryptocurrency companies.
The FCA had also sent consumer alerts for 39 companies which are said to be doing business without proper authorisation from them. These companies are hereby suspected as scams. Subsequently, ten of 49 inquiries made by the FCA had to close down since the companies were already warned that they have to secure authorisation from FCA to continue operating.
FT further reports that the FCA will not issue further comment about the companies that they are still investigating including releasing the list of names of these companies to the public to avoid damaging the reputation of the said companies.
The FCA probe is a result of the UK government’s earlier decision to grant FCA more powers to manage the UK cryptocurrency market. Earlier this year, the FCA started looking into the possibility of banning the sale of derivatives that are based on cryptocurrencies. It will also launch a consultation next year to gather information on how it can better regulate cryptos and the infrastructure used for trading them.