Akin to regulators the world over, the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been tightening its grip around the cryptocurrency in a bid to eliminate bad elements. The watchdog is now looking for experts that could train its staff on the identification of criminal activity using cryptocurrencies, according to a tender notice cited by the Telegraph.
The FCA will reportedly be splurging around $671,000 in hiring consultants from a blockchain analytics firm. It is aimed at teaching the agency’s staff on weeding out illegal financial activities such as money laundering and terrorism funding using cryptocurrencies. It will be making use of a third-party company for the provision of these services.
This training initiative is a part of the FCA’s efforts to beef up its surveillance and control of the cryptocurrency industry in the country. The reason behind this is that millions of Britons are already invested in the space. The agency’s regulatory efforts have especially ramped up in recent months. It has banned several crypto-related businesses in the country in June, including Binance.
FCA has been busy
Its efforts have especially been focused on curbing financial crimes such as money laundering and released a new proposal to increase its AML regulations earlier this year. Recently, top crypto exchange firm Kraken delisted the infamous privacy token Monero due to compliance as it is frequently associated with criminal activities. The exchange received an operational license from the FCA in the same week.
Apart from this, the agency has also prohibited UK companies from selling crypto derivatives and exchange-traded notes that reference crypto assets to retail investors, calling them “ill-suited” for their needs.
It has also sought to gain more power to govern the promotion of cryptocurrencies online, which will help in curbing the flooding of inappropriate content, according to the regulatory body.
Despite these steps and continued warnings that the FCA has issued against the speculative and risky nature of cryptocurrencies, related crime has only gone up over time. News of the UK police seizing huge amounts of cryptocurrencies frequently makes rounds, with the most recent involving a teenager who was caught with $2.7 million in Bitcoin and other currencies.
Earlier in July, the police had caught its biggest fish worth around $250 million in crypto assets that were associated with criminal activities. Over the whole month, the UK police had seized over $500 million in cryptocurrency-related money laundering activities.