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FCA guidance on current cryptoassets regulation

August 12, 2019

What happened?

On 31st July 2019, the FCA published its Final Guidance PS 19/22, which sets out the cryptoasset activities it regulates. This is a follow-up to the FCA’s consultation published earlier this year.

These documents are available here:

As the majority of respondents supported the proposals outlined in the consultation, the FCA is publishing the Final Guidance as consulted on with some amendments to provide greater clarity on what is and is not regulated. This includes making clearer the important distinction as to which cryptoassets fall inside the regulatory perimeter.

The Guidance is intended to help firms understand whether their cryptoasset activities fall under FCA regulation, whether they need to be authorised, and what they need to do to ensure they are compliant. This paper sets out where crypto tokens are likely to be:

  • specified investments under the Regulated Activities Order (such as security tokens),
  • e-money under the E-Money Regulations (such as e-money tokens and some utility tokens),
  • captured under the Payment Services Regulations (such as exchange tokens used for payments), or
  • outside regulation (such as exchange tokens and most utility tokens)

How can Thistle help you?

Thistle’s expert crypto team is on hand to provide further information, guidance or assistance on any aspect of the FCA’s work in the cryptoasset space.  Among the services we offer are:

  • Analysis of the FCA’s thinking in the Final Guidance,
  • A summary of the implications for your firm, or
  • A review of how this relates to further work being carried out in this area, including:
    1. the FCA consultation on potentially banning the sale of derivatives linked to certain types of unregulated cryptoassets to retail clients,
    2. The Treasury’s consultation on whether further regulation is required in the cryptoasset market, particularly in relation to unregulated cryptoassets, and
    3. Treasury and FCA work on transposing the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

If you’d like to know more about any of the topics covered above – or to learn more about how Thistle can help – please get in touch via or call us on 0207 436 0630.