City watchdog launches crackdown on cryptocurrency firms


City watchdog launches crackdown on cryptocurrency firms amid explosion of interest from investors

The City watchdog has launched a crackdown on cryptocurrency firms amid an explosion of interest from investors. 

In the year to June 30, the Financial Conduct Authority opened 52 investigations into these businesses, according to research by law firm RPC. 

The future?: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have won endorsements from well-known business figures including Elon Musk

The future?: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have won endorsements from well-known business figures including Elon Musk

However, it is thought this could be ‘just the tip of the iceberg’, as the regulator is unlikely to be able to handle more than 60 such cases a year, partner Sam Tate said. 

The disclosure comes after bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies won endorsements from well-known business figures including Elon Musk. 

Tesla recently bought £1.1billion worth of bitcoin, while retail investors have also rushed to buy up digital tokens after Musk, 49, tweeted about them. 

The FCA classes cryptoassets such as bitcoin as ‘very high risk’. 

According to RPC, the regulator has been receiving a growing number of queries about them, with 343 calls made in October.

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