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Over 10 blockchain and crypto asset firms make it to UK FCA’s fourth cohort of regulatory sandbox
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the names of the 29 firms that have been selected for the latest cohort of the regulatory sandbox.
The objective of the regulatory sandbox is to allow firms to test innovative products, services or business models in a live market environment, while ensuring that appropriate protections are in place. The latest cohort marks the fourth round of the regulatory sandbox, with the first one announced back in 2016.
Distributed ledger technology (DLT) or blockchain-based startups and companies have been successful in all the previous cohorts, and this year is no exception. The FCA pointed out that 40 percent of companies accepted to cohort four are using DLT – six are using DLT to automate the issuance of debt or equity, while two are using DLT to support the provision of insurance.
This year, the regulator has also accepted a small number of firms that will be testing propositions relating to cryptoassets. The FCA said that it is “keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks.”
“Cohort 4 has seen a large increase in the number of firms testing wholesale propositions including firms that are aiming to increase the efficiency of the capital-raising process. Alongside these we can see significant use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), some experimentation with cryptoassets which will help inform our policy work and propositions aimed at helping lower income consumers,” Christopher Woolard, executive director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said.
The DLT and crypto assets-focused startups selected for the fourth cohort include BlockEX, Capexmove, Etherisc, Fineqia, Fractal, Globacap, Natwest, Token Market, Tokencard, Universal Tokens, World Reserve Trust, 20|30.