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Fraud of 1 billion pounds: FCA arrests two people associated with an illegal crypto business

The regulatory authority of the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has recently arrested two individuals suspected of being involved in a crypto fraud worth 1 billion pounds. 

The two suspects were questioned on bail by the FCA and subsequently released on bail. Let’s see all the details below. 

Crypto and fraud: an illegal business uncovered by the FCA of the United Kingdom

As anticipated, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the London police forces have arrested two individuals suspected of running an illegal crypto operation worth $1.3 billion.

The regulatory authority stated in a press release the following:

It is believed that more than 1 billion unregistered cryptocurrencies have been bought and sold through this activity.”

The suspects, aged 38 and 44, were cautiously interrogated by the FCA and released on bail. During the investigations, the FCA inspected the offices associated with the two. 

Furthermore, the Metropolitan Police has seized several digital devices during searches in two residential properties in London. Investigations are ongoing and the FCA has declined to provide further details.

Regulations and expanded powers

Since January 2021, crypto asset services must be registered with the FCA according to its anti-money laundering regulations. So far, only 44 companies have managed to enter the register, despite over 300 companies having tried.

The United Kingdom has also recently granted the police greater powers to seize and freeze cryptocurrencies and items related to cryptocurrencies during investigations. 

Therese Chambers, executive director of the FCA for enforcement and market supervision, commented: 

“The FCA has an important role to play in keeping dirty money out of the UK financial system. These arrests demonstrate that we will do everything in our power to prevent cryptocurrency companies from operating illegally in the UK.”

The regulatory authority might rely more heavily on its executive powers after being called into question by the UK’s spending watchdog, the National Audit Office. 

This happened at the end of last year, for being too slow in taking executive actions. 

The arrest of these two individuals represents a clear signal of the FCA’s determination to combat fraud in the cryptocurrency sector. As well as ensuring that the British financial system remains safe and transparent.

The approval of the FCA for WisdomTree to list crypto products on LSE

Recently, WisdomTree received approval from the FCA to list its exchange-traded product (ETP) Physical Bitcoin (BTCW) and Ethereum (ETHW) on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The listing arrived only two months after the initial announcement from the LSE. Furthermore, it positions WisdomTree as one of the first issuers to secure a listing in crypto ETP with the FCA.

Reacting to this news, Alexis Marinof, Head of Europe at WisdomTree, emphasized that this listing is essential for the growth of the sector and will increase the participation of cryptocurrencies in the British market: 

“The approval of the FCA in this sense could lead to greater institutional adoption of the asset class, as many professional investors have not been able to gain exposure to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies due to regulatory limitations and uncertainty. We expect that the approval of the FCA of the prospectus of our cryptocurrency ETPs will remove these barriers to entry.”

The recent wave of regulatory approvals for crypto products worldwide seems to be driven, in part, by the success of Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, which have recorded significant inflows after their launch. 

This has prompted other financial centers, such as Hong Kong, to accelerate their own cryptocurrency investment offerings.

In particular, Hong Kong has recently approved ETF on Bitcoin and Ether with features such as in-kind transfers and multiple fiat currency denominations, allowing for more convenient investment options. 

The move by WisdomTree to list its ETPs on the LSE marks an important step towards greater accessibility and adoption of cryptocurrencies by institutional investors in the United Kingdom.

Alessia Pannone
Alessia Pannone
Graduated in communication sciences, currently student of the master's degree course in publishing and writing. Writer of articles from an SEO perspective, with care for indexing in search engines.