UK’s financial regulation authority, The Financial Conduct Authority [FCA] has issued a third e-money license. The license was granted to Wirex, a crypto fiat payment platform of London. While playing an active role in helping the cryptocurrency industry to develop in the country, the authority has become more vigilant on account of increasing crypto investment scams that are affecting the British investors.
Wirex offers a cryptocurrency card which converts crypto into fiat currency. It is a prepaid debit card which can convert cryptocurrency into dollars, pounds, and euros for transactions. The company is also planning to expand their reach and add more crypto coins to their list. According to the press release from Wirex, “In the wider scheme, gaining the FCA license will open up a much broader market, allowing us to create e-money accounts in over 25 different currencies. We’re in the process of developing offerings in Asia (including Singapore and Japan) and North America in order to deliver a comprehensive service to our global users, with access to our full array of industry-leading features.”
Why a license?
The press release quotes the company co-founder, Dmitri Lazarichev as saying that, “The license is a testament to the fact that the company is committed to pursuing and achieving the highest levels of diligence and integrity in its business operations. Wirex’s submission to the FCA’s jurisdiction should leave customers in no doubt that Wirex will provide them with a best-in-class platform and accompanying service”.
An FCA license is very difficult to obtain for any financial institution. Any company would have to get through a rigorous verification process to be granted an operating license. Additionally, it might take the authority up to a year to choose whether to grant a license or not. According to a report by Finextra, when asked about the FCA granting Wirex a license, the company co-founder Pavel Matveev said, “Wirex pursued an FCA e-money license in order to improve and refine its e-money services throughout the EEA. Having our own principal license, instead of our existing FCA agency license, means increased efficiency and lower costs.”
The FCA has been cautious towards the cryptocurrency industry with the increase of Ponzi schemes and crypto jacking incidents on the rise. Wirex being put under the wings of FCA shows that any company willing to follow strict security and compliance practices has stronger chances of getting a license from the FCA. Wirex in the press release states that “Wirex is not an ICO; it is backed by large, reputable financial institutions and investors. The FCA license underscores the integrity, compliance, and professionalism of Wirex and helps to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream. Wirex users can be confident that they are dealing with a company that meets the same regulatory standards as traditional payment platforms.”
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