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UK FCA selects nine blockchain firms for second cohort of regulatory sandbox
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has revealed the names of nine blockchain firms among others that were successful in their applications to begin testing in the second cohort of its regulatory sandbox.
“The sandbox continues to grow in popularity and it is particularly encouraging that both the number of firms applying and accepted for testing has increased in cohort two. That means more innovative firms, trialling more innovative propositions to bring to the market. This is an important part of the FCA’s commitment to promoting innovation and competition in the markets we regulate”, Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA, said.
In the sandbox’s first phase, the majority of firms were based in London with a small number from other parts of the UK. For the second phase of the regulatory sandbox, the FCA received 77 submissions, more than applied for cohort one. 31 applications met the sandbox eligibility criteria and were accepted to develop towards testing. The proportion of regional firms is higher in this cohort, the FCA noted.
The nine blockchain firms include BlockEx, Disberse, Nivaura, Nuggets, OKLink, Oraclize, Paylinko, Sabstone, and ZipZap. Among these, Nivaura was selected in the first cohort as well.
According to the official announcement, the current cohort consists of the 24 firms that are ready to begin testing shortly, while 7 firms that were not ready to begin testing might become the part of the third cohort. The FCA said that tests will be conducted on a short-term and small-scale basis, adding that it has worked with the sandbox firms to agree on testing parameters, building in consumer safeguards.
In addition, the FCA has started accepting applications for the third sandbox phase. Interested firms have until 31 July 2017 to submit their applications.