Payment protocol Ripple has recently applied for registration as a crypto asset firm with the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), according to a spokesperson for the company who informed Cointelegraph. Additionally, the company is also pursuing a payments license in Ireland as part of its significant investment efforts in the region.
This registration comes in the wake of Ripple’s partial victory against the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding the classification of its XRP token. The decision, seen as favorable by both Ripple and the wider crypto community, determined that XRP should be considered a security when sold to institutional investors but not to retail investors. However, it’s important to note that the case remains open to appeal by the SEC.
Amidst a series of enforcement actions carried out by the SEC in the United States, an increasing number of crypto firms are turning to the United Kingdom for regulatory clarity and a supportive business environment.
One notable development is venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (A16z) announcing its first international office in London. This expansion was prompted by “constructive conversations” with policymakers and the FCA, and the firm cited a “predictable business environment” as a significant factor in its decision to establish a presence overseas.
In response to the growing interest in cryptocurrencies, several legislations have been introduced in the British parliament to establish a crypto-regulated environment in the UK. One such bill, signed into law in June, subjects cryptocurrencies to the same rules applied to traditional assets. This new law empowers authorities such as the Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), Bank of England, and Payments Systems Regulator to introduce and enforce regulations for crypto businesses.
In addition, lawmakers in the upper house have been discussing drafts of another legislation aimed at strengthening authorities’ ability to target cryptocurrencies used for illicit purposes. The proposed bill includes provisions that grant authorities greater flexibility in confiscating and recovering crypto assets.