UK Financial Watchdog Issues Reminder to Crypto Firms: Marketing Compliance Deadline Looms in October

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom has emphasized that all cryptoasset firms engaging in marketing activities targeted at UK users must adhere to the financial promotions regime by October 2023.

In correspondence dated July 4, the FCA outlined that starting from October 8, companies operating within the UK must follow one of the four designated legal pathways to lawfully communicate cryptoasset promotions in line with the financial watchdog’s regulations. These avenues include obtaining approval or communication of a promotion from an authorized entity, having a promotion created by a business registered with the FCA, or ensuring the promotion qualifies as an exemption under the UK’s Financial Services and Markets Act.

The FCA clarified that promotions encompass various channels such as websites, mobile apps, social media posts, and online advertising, provided they have the potential to impact the UK market. This requirement applies to firms regardless of their location. Jayson Probin, crypto financial promotions lead at the FCA, warned in a LinkedIn post that failure to comply with the regulations could result in criminal charges.

The FCA notice emphasized its commitment to taking robust action against individuals or entities illegally promoting to UK consumers, which may involve placing firms on the warning list, requesting the removal of websites, social media accounts, apps, and other non-compliant promotions, as well as enforcement actions.

The FCA initially announced the October deadline on June 8, urging crypto firms to adopt marketing approaches that allow customers a “cooling-off period” to assess the risks associated with investing in digital assets. Upon submission of the required registration information, the FCA indicated that it could take up to three months to process the application.

In addition to compliance with the FCA’s marketing regime, companies must register with the watchdog to conduct crypto asset activities within the UK. Currently, the FCA’s list includes 42 registered crypto firms in compliance with the necessary requirements, including Bitstamp, Revolut, MoonPay, and Galaxy Digital UK.

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