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UK crypto community reacts as FCA derivatives ban goes into effect

On Wednesday, the decision by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority to ban crypto futures and exchange-traded notes finally went into effect. The FCA initially announced the ban back in October 2020 following a year-long consideration of the matter. At the time, the FCA argued that crypto derivatives were ill-suited to retail investors who were at risk of incurring significant losses.

Commenting on the decision as the ban went into effect on Wednesday, Ian Taylor, chair of the self-regulatory trade group CryptoUK, told Cointelegraph: “The regulator is clearly focused on consumer protection, and rightfully so. Derivatives allow for leverage — enabling investors to magnify their gains, but equally their losses. The FCA has raised concerns about retail investors being exposed to significant losses and volatility, that they may not fully appreciate.”

However, Taylor faulted the FCA’s characterization of retail crypto derivatives investors as unsophisticated. The CryptoUK chair also remarked that the FCA could have opted for stricter leverage limits similar to the restrictions placed on contracts for differences, rather than placing a blanket ban.

With the ban in place, crypto derivatives can no longer be included in individual savings accounts, or ISAs and self-invested personal pensions, or SIPPs. However, there are concerns that the move might push investors towards unregulated offerings in other jurisdictions that pose even greater risks to retail investors than the products previously on offer in the U.K.

UK crypto community reacts as FCA derivatives ban goes into effect, Cointelegraph, Jan 7

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