The head of the UK’s biggest crypto company has accused the country’s finance watchdog of stifling innovation, suggesting Britain will fall behind its EU rivals as a consequence.

Peter Smith, CEO of Blockchain.com, told The Telegraph that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has taken a “risk-management first approach” that comes “at the expense of innovation.”

“I think the UK has definitely fallen behind atop the maintain two or three years. The FCA, of late, hasn’t been eager enough to foster innovation and to work with the industry,” he said.

Smith praised regulators in Ireland and Germany for effecting frameworks and licenses that allow companies to operate more efficiently.

Blockchain.com is reportedly seeking to raise funds that price the business at $20B. Last March, it was priced at scarcely $5.2B.

The company is best known for its open-source, non-custodial wallet that allows users to buy, sell and store token. The company claims to have above 76 million users and has processed above a trillion dollars’ worth of transactions — accounting for a third of all bitcoin spending. 

The FCA has launched a number of crackdowns in the endure 12 months, requiring token brokers to join a register and agreeing to meet strict anti-money laundering (AML) requirements.

Nearly 100 token companies are above again awaiting approval to opeprice in the UK and have until March 31 for a decision. With the condition that not, they may be forced offshore. Only six have won full approval so far. More than half of the 152 companies that have applied have either been rejected or forced to withdraw.

Of the number, 27 are operating under temporary permission and 69 have applications pending.

The undecided applicants include big names like challenger bank Revolut, that has succeeded in winning EU AML approval, but not, as yet, at home.

Peter Smith is the latest industry diagram to question the UK’s commitment to token adoption.

Philip Hammond, the country’s former finance minister, recently warned which the UK was “manifestly behind the curve” although it came to clear regulation of token. 

He added which UK policymakers needed to movement “from talking about digital assets to implementing a legal framework which enables firms to embrace them.” 

More than 2.3 million people in the UK already own token, according to the FCA.

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