After concluding that crypto asset derivatives are irredeemably unsuitable for retail investors, regulators in the U.K. are proposing to ban them.
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed rules on Wednesday that would ban the sale, marketing and distribution of derivatives based on cryptoassets.
It estimated that a ban will potentially save investors between £75 million and £234.3 million per year.
In proposing its ban, the FCA said it believes that these products fundamentally aren’t suitable for retail investors, as they can’t reliably assess the risks and value involved with derivatives based on crypto.
The regulator’s conclusion is based on the inherent characteristics of crypto assets, which, it said, mean that retail investors face the risk of “sudden and unexpected losses if they invest in these products.”
Among other things, the FCA pointed to lack of reliable valuation for crypto assets; crypto price volatility; investors’ poor understanding of the crypto space; and the “prevalence of market abuse and financial crime” in the crypto market.
“As with our work on the wider CFD and binary options markets, we will act when we see poor products being sold to retail consumers. These are complex contracts built on top of complex assets,” said Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy & competition at the FCA.
“Most consumers cannot reliably value derivatives based on unregulated cryptoassets. Prices are extremely volatile and as we have seen globally, financial crime in cryptoasset markets can lead to sudden and unexpected losses. It is therefore clear to us that these derivatives and exchange traded notes are unsuitable investments for retail consumers,” he added.