Witch hunt being done by regulators all over the world isn’t done yet. In fact, London-based news publication Citywire has reported on Friday that UK regulator has announced that it is looking into 24 crypto companies. UK Financial Conduct Authority is looking closely at the possibility of price manipulation of several cryptocurrencies.
And this isn’t exactly surprising. In fact, there was a study conducted that suggest an involvement of whales in price manipulation since Bitcoin was able to reach almost $20K in mid-December of last year. FCA stated that “If we conclude that they are (conducting activities that require FCA authorization), then we may investigate and take action, identifying and determining the most serious matters which pose the greatest risk to consumers”.
The tricky part is that FCA is not really obligated to regulate the crypto market. However, the agency is going to continue to intervene on a case-by-case basis. It is still unclear what FCA is going to do when it comes to the companies that are involved. However, it is possible that they can post a warning about a specific coin, company, or even person on their website.
There is also the possibility that the assets can be frozen depending on the severity of the offense. There could even be a potential criminal charge against these companies.
Not the First Time
It isn’t the first time that the FCA went after crypto related companies. In September and November of last year, FCA released consumer reports that warn consumers regarding the dangers of both ICOs and cryptocurrency CFDs.
According to the FCA, it will present its views regarding the market later this year, In April, FCA required businesses offering crypto derivatives to meet the requirements of the agency. They added that not doing so would mean a criminal offense.
By the time 2018 entered, crypto enthusiasts were faced by the number of regulatory changes in different parts of the globe. China was among the very first to implement their strict crypto-related policies in September 2017. Today, there’s a renewed interest among regulators to clamp down on crypto-related illegal activities.
In fact, the IRS was able to collect 14,000 Coinbase account user activity log-in details. And for this reason, there is no longer complete anonymity when it comes to trading cryptos. In addition to this, parts of the US are doing their job in attempting to regulate cryptos within each respective state. In Arizona, for instance, you have the so-called “Bitcoin Bill”, while New York requires “BitLicenses”.
In Japan, regulators are also becoming strict when it comes to the criteria that should be met by both new and existing crypto exchanges. This was after the hack that happened to Coincheck.
Could we be seeing stricter rules and regulations in the future? Could this signal bearish trends for the crypto market? Come to think of it, all of these things are necessary considering the need to protect investors. Also, experts believe that regulatory clarity could bring about the possibility of whales entering the picture without any hesitation.