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UK Lawmaker Pushes for Rethink on Retail Crypto ETP Ban

Alun Cairns, a Conservative UK Member of Parliament, called on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to reconsider its ban on crypto exchange-traded products (ETPs) for retail investors. In a op-ed published Thursday, he raised concerns that the country is falling behind.

The UK has so far been cautious about letting people directly buy these products. This puts it at odds with other major financial markets around the world. Earlier, regulators have warned ETPs could be too risky for everyday investors and could lead to financial losses.

“The FCA continues to remind people that cryptoassets are high risk and largely unregulated. Those who invest should be prepared to lose all their money,” the FCA said in 2020.

Despite its reservations, the financial watchdog did make a concession in March. It greenlit established exchanges to offer crypto exchange-traded notes (cETNs), but to professional investors only.

Don’t Leave Retail Crypto Investors Behind, MP Urges Regulator

“On the one hand, these products have been opened to professional investors, including investment firms and credit institutions – which is good news; however, on the other hand, such a move risks making the opportunities elitist and limits the associated benefits,” he wrote. “The general public will miss out.”

Cairns, who holds a key position in a group advising Parliament on financial matters, further argued that the restrictions are hindering the government’s goal of making the UK a global leader in Web3.

His comments follow Hong Kong launching the first spot crypto ETFs in Asia on Tuesday. This move positions Hong Kong as a competitor to the US in the race to become a leader in the growing market.

Can the UK Catch Up to Europe’s Crypto ETP Lead?

According to the minister, the crypto market has matured significantly since the FCA’s last review, and it’s now time to take action.

As evidence of a thriving market, Cairns pointed to Europe’s presence of over 70 crypto ETPs collectively holding $7.6b in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“Other European jurisdictions like Sweden, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, & Switzerland have embraced these products and we can learn from their early moves,” he wrote.

He believes that allowing a similar crypto ETP on the London Stock Exchange would position the UK as a frontrunner in the global crypto space, attracting new digital opportunities and solidifying the country’s status as a crypto hub.

The post UK Lawmaker Pushes for Rethink on Retail Crypto ETP Ban appeared first on Cryptonews.

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