U.K.’s financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has seen a rise in investigations related to cryptocurrencies this year, the Financial Times reported on 7 October.
According to the publication, data provided by David Heffron, partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, suggest that the FCA has seen a 74% rise in investigations into cryptocurrency firms since last year.
As per the data, in 2018 the financial regulator had around 50 cases related to cryptocurrencies, while this year it is looking into 87 firms in the crypto space.
The number of cases includes both full enforcement investigations, as well as early stage scrutiny.
Heffron said that this spike in investigations portrays the “FCA’s increasingly hands-on and no-nonsense approach” to the cryptocurrency space.
He further noted that this is not necessarily a bad thing for the industry, as the FCA will be able to get rid of bad actors on the market.
“For cryptocurrency businesses acting lawfully these statistics will be encouraging — they want bad actors pushed out.”
Several months ago, the FCA issued guidance on crypto assets which clarified that while the agency will not regulate Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), other cryptocurrencies still fall under its jurisdiction.
In July it also proposed a ban on all cryptocurrency-related financial instruments for retail investors, such as derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs).