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Crypto market needs “more attention”, says FCA’s Woolard

A senior UK regulator has said crypto assets require clearer boundaries regarding Initial Coin Offerings for the market to develop. This follows positive market growth from regulating P2P lending.


Clear boundaries need to be identified within the crypto market to reduce investors’ exposure to risk, says Chris Woolard, Director of Strategy for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Speaking at a conference this week, Woolard said the crypto space needs “more attention” from regulators. Using Initial Coin Offerings as an example, there are some ICOs that fall within current regulations regarding securities as well as some that sit in a grey area. Clear boundaries need to be introduced to resolve this issue.

The need for regulation has become even more apparent following the cryptocurrency market experiencing huge volatility this year. The CEO of peer-to-peer lender JustUs, Lee Birkett, speaking to AltFi this week, said that it is a positive step forward that Woolard thinks boundaries should be put in place. 12-months ago, roughly three-quarters of all crypto transactions did not have the correct Anti Money Laundering (AML) or Know Your Customer (KYC) checks, according to Birkett.

"We are about to enter Blockchain 2.0 - the new AML/KYC checks being carried out by regulated digital wallet issuers such as coinbase and new crypto token issuers such as Moneybrain BiPS, is creating a new stable era for global cryptocurrency”, he said.

JustUs has collaborated with Moneybrain to incorporate its cryptocurrency named BiPS – currently in its utility presale - which when in public sale will convert to sterling and be lent on to the regulated P2P platform.

Birkett hopes that the JustUs platform can incorporate the positives of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to enable crowdfunding to be adopted securely around the globe. He says he sees massive potential for both crypto assets and P2P lending if they are managed correctly.

Birkett said he disagrees with how cryptocurrencies are being promoted as an investable asset when it is a digital currency and should be exclusively treated as such.

According to the company, BiPS will be less volatile than the standard cryptocurrency as it will be asset backed and incorporates KYC checks and GDPR to protect its users. Investors will receive their returns through the increase in value of their portion of the tokens.  

The P2P platform plans to accept converted BiPS after the close of its public sale in April which follows the private presale expected to close in February. The purpose of only accepting the token is to become more efficient in both timing and security of transactions with the use of blockchain technology.

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