The UK Financial Authority has granted operational licenses to two cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country: digital security exchange Archax and the UK branch of the Gemini exchange.
According to the site Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Archax and Gemini Europe Services are currently listed in the UK as crypto asset firms on August 18 and August 19, respectively. Both crypto exchanges must meet compliance requirements in terms of regulatory risk assessment Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) which is mandatory on January 10.
Archax said in an Aug. 19 blog post that FCA’s decision has made it “UK’s first FCA-regulated digital securities exchange and custodial.”
Just over a month ago on July 6, Kraken claimed to have become the first crypto exchange to be licensed by the FCA. However its branch Crypto Facility is currently only listed as authorized for “certain activities and product types,” but not in the same category as Archax and Gemini.
UK Financial News reports Kraken CEO Timo Schlaefer said the exchange had been granted a Multilateral Trading Facility license by the FCA. For now, Archax and Gemini are the only two exchanges on FCA’s list of listed crypto asset exchanges.
Regulatory Restrictions for Crypto Companies in the UK
The new rules imposed by the FCA on crypto asset companies are part of the agency’s efforts to comply with regulations from the European Union’s 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) and Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
FCA was officially appointed as regulator of all cryptocurrency businesses in the UK in January. Companies doing business in these countries need to establish monitoring and control systems to eliminate potential AML and CTF threats.
The agency requires all crypto companies to register before June 30, to ensure that their applications will be processed before January 10, 2022. Failure to comply with the deadline means they will have to stop their trading activity on UK Exchanges including CEX subsidiary Decent Finance Limited saying they are authorized to conducting “electronic money activity” while UK-based Coinfloor said it was “maintaining communication” with the FCA.