British regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken a massive swipe at the crypto industry, labeling exchanges as platforms for money laundering.
Global regulators have been railing against crypto over the past month, and their wild condemnations are becoming more extreme.
The latest to make one of these ludicrous accusations is incoming FCA chair Ashley Alder. On Dec. 14, he told politicians that crypto platforms were “deliberately evasive,” facilitated money laundering at scale, and created “massively untoward risk.”
The sweeping generalization comes as the financial regulator assumes greater control over the UK’s crypto industry. According to the Financial Times, Alder said that crypto companies wanting to operate in Britain will face an uphill struggle.
Regulatory Wrath From The FCA
However, the UK and a number of high-profile politicians still have ambitions to become a regional crypto hub. The FCA, if it gets its way, would favor a strictly controlled and limited crypto asset environment.
Alder, who currently heads the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, said crypto should be regulated further, adding:
“Our experience to date of [crypto] platforms, whether FTX or others, is that they are deliberately evasive, they are a method by which money laundering happens in size,”
He then went on to accuse crypto firms of “bundling a whole set of activities which are normally segregated,” causing increased risks.
The FCA has been very lenient with its operating licenses, rejecting 80% of the applications, which has resulted in an exodus of tech firms to friendlier jurisdictions in Europe.
In September, the UK financial watchdog issued a warning about FTX, claiming that it was “targeting people in the UK” who were unlikely to get their money back in the event of a liquidity crisis.
It added that FTX did not have the correct license to operate in the United Kingdom. Then CEO Sam Bankman-Fried said that he believed the company was in compliance with UK regulators.
Anti-crypto Senator Elizabeth Warren has also been on the warpath again. Her latest crypto bill aims to eradicate all financial privacy in the U.S. by treating blockchain software such as nodes and validators as “money service businesses.”
Crypto Markets Retreat
Cryptocurrency markets are back in the red as another week draws to a close. Total market capitalization is down a percent or so on the day at $886 billion at the time of writing.
The consolidation has continued since the FTX collapse in early November, and analysts have predicted a quiet period for Bitcoin and its brethren over the coming months.