The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has ordered unregistered crypto companies to cease operations and return funds to investors, The Block has reported.
In particular, the FCA warned on January 8 cryptocurrency companies that have not applied for registration with the SEC by December 15 or have withdrawn their application that they must stop their cryptocurrency-related operations by January 10.
In the e-mail that was sent by the regulator to the companies in question, the regulator informs them that they "should consider all the relevant issues carefully and, where possible, return any money or crypto assets" that fall within the scope of the anti-money laundering rules:
"Any existing crypto asset businesses carrying on crypto asset activities within the scope of regulation 14A of the MLRs by way of business in the UK is required to be registered with the FCA for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing purposes by 9 January 2021. If you are an existing crypto asset business that is still carrying on crypto asset activities in the UK and fall within either of the categories mentioned in the bullet points above, you are required to cease such activities before 10 January 2021."
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The FCA started monitoring the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism through cryptocurrencies on January 10, 2020, when it warned crypto companies that they had 1 year to register. Later, the deadline was extended until July 9, 2021.
Yesterday it was reported the regulator has issued a warning related to the "very high risks" faced by users who invest in cryptos.