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Financial Conduct Authority Says No Need for Alternative Regulation for Blockchain

The Financial Conduct Authority has said it sees no need for an alternative approach to blockchain regulation, clarifying the short-term position in the United Kingdom as authorities elsewhere move to amend their legal framework.

As part of a discussion paper published today, the Financial Conduct Authority is soliciting opinions from industry stakeholders, as part of attempts to uncover both the ‘risks and opportunities’ posed by these emerging technologies.

Commenting on the current regulatory position, the FCA, which operates its own sandbox for blockchain development, said it saw no obvious case for changes in the current framework.

"At this stage we do not see a clear need to consider changes to our regulatory framework for DLT solutions to be implemented. Instead we want to explore emerging business models, and how their potential risks and opportunities operate in the context of our regulatory framework."

The paper comes at a time when governments and regulators worldwide are re-examining their approaches to the technology.

With companies already developing blockchain-based solutions in a range of industries, some have suggested that the current regulatory environment may be unsuitable as these technologies come closer to market.

State legislatures across the U.S. have been responding to the changing needs of developers and industry stakeholders, with similar moves underway in Russia, Switzerland, and elsewhere globally.

Within the same paper, the FCA said that it would retain a neutral outlook on the blockchain and its various use cases, and would instead focus on ensuring compliance among those already operating within the industry.

The FCA, which is responsible for regulating all financial services and other regulated financial activities in the U.K., has suggested that it prefers the approach of giving the industry space to grow at this early stage of its development journey.

The news will be welcomed by developers and stakeholders across the industry, a sign that the environment will remain consistent for the near future.

While there are no guarantees about the future regulatory picture, the report gives certainty for those developing blockchain solutions today under current laws and regulations.

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