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9 blockchain firms make it to first cohort of FCA’s regulatory sandbox
On the occasion of the second anniversary of Project Innovate, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the firms that were successful in their applications to begin testing in the first cohort of the regulatory sandbox.
The regulatory sandbox is part of Project Innovate - an initiative started in 2014 - that aims to provide innovators with support to navigate the regulatory system and promote competition in the interest of consumers.
“The FCA’s regulatory sandbox was a first for regulators worldwide and underlines our deep commitment to innovation and our willingness to think outside the usual regulatory parameters. We are pleased to announce the first cohort of firms”, Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said. “It has been an intense process for both firms and ourselves and we are grateful for their cooperation and hard work in getting us all to this position. We look forward to these businesses bringing new products and services to market whilst we ensure that appropriate consumer protection safeguards are in place.”
The FCA received applications from 69 firms from a diverse range of sectors, geographies and sizes. 24 applications were deemed to meet the sandbox eligibility criteria and were accepted to develop towards testing, including early stage start-ups, challengers and incumbent firms.
Notably, the cohort includes a number of blockchain-based companies which includes Billon, BitX, Epiphyte, Govcoin Limited, Nivaura, Otonomos, SETL, Tradle and Tramonex.
The FCA said that firms can apply to be part of the second sandbox cohort from 21 November 2016. The application period will close on 19 January 2017.