The UK’s crypto buying spree

By Daniel Lanyon on Wednesday 1 July 2020

The FCA has previously warned that crypto assets are highly volatile and risky. Many are not currently regulated in the UK.

The UK’s crypto buying spree
Image source: Photo by Thought Catalog from Pexels

More than 1 million consumers have bought crypto assets for the first time over the past year, according to research by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The UK regulator says that in total 2.6m UK consumers have bought crypto assets at some point following a 1.1m increase since the FCA completed a face-to-face survey on the same topic last year. 

Of the 1.9 million that still hold their crypto assets – such as Bitcoin, Ripple or Ether – half have more than £260. 

The FCA’s Interim Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, Sheldon Mills, says the FCA’s data reveals the increasing popularity of crypto assets among the UK consumer population.

“Cryptoassets present risks and opportunities for consumers and we hope these insights will help inform the policy debate in the UK and internationally as the use of these assets continue to grow,” he said.

The FCA has previously warned that crypto assets are highly volatile and risky. Many are not currently regulated in the UK. This means that the transfer, purchase and sale of such tokens currently fall outside its regulatory remit, leaving customers unable to make complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service or seek protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.  

In its March 2020 budget, the Government said it intends to consult on measures to bring certain crypto assets into the scope of financial promotions regulation. 

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