Payment protocol Ripple has recently applied for a registration as a crypto asset firm with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), a spokesperson for the firm told Pandoraland. The company is also seeking a payments license in Ireland as part of its massive investment in the region.
The registration was submitted after Ripple’s partial win against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over the classification of its XRP (XRP) token as a security. The decision, viewed as a win by Ripple and the broader crypto community, considered the XRP token to be a security when sold to institutional investors, but not to retail investors. The case is still open to appeal by the SEC.
XRP is not a security.
This victory for @Ripple is a win for the entire industry and a step toward regulatory clarity in the U.S.
— Ripple (@Ripple) July 13, 2023
More crypto firms are looking to the United Kingdom for regulatory clarity and a supportive business environment amid a wave of enforcement actions carried out by the SEC in the United States.
Recently, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) announced its first new office outside the U.S. in London, following “months of constructive conversations” with policymakers and the FCA, and citing a “predictable business environment” as a key reason for expanding overseas.
Several legislations have been introduced in the British parliament aimed at setting up a crypto-regulated environment in the U.K. In June, a bill bringing cryptocurrencies under the same rules applied to traditional assets was signed into law after receiving King Charles’ royal assent. The new law gives the Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England and Payments Systems Regulator authority to introduce and enforce regulations for crypto businesses.
In another recent development, lawmakers in the upper house discussed drafts of a legislation seeking to expand authorities’ ability to target cryptocurrencies used for illicit purposes. The bill includes provisions for authorities to have greater flexibility in confiscating and recovering crypto assets.