Firms that testing blockchain-related applications feature prominently among the latest round of participants in the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox, which were announced on Tuesday.
The FCA has granted approval to 29 firms participate in the fourth round of its regulatory sandbox, which allows the firms to test innovative products and services without meeting the full regulatory requirements. In total, 69 firms applied to participate, the FCA says in a news release.
Among the firms approved for this round, 40% are focusing on blockchain-related applications, such as streamlining debt and equity insurance, the FCA says. The blockchain-focused firms include Fineqia International Inc., which is based in London, U.K., and trades on venture markets in Canada and Germany.
Other successful firms this round include companies focused on automated financial advice, consumer credit and travel insurance.
The FCA has also accepted a handful of firms that will be testing services involving cryptoassets. “We are keen to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks,” the regulator says.
“Cohort 4 has seen a large increase in the number of firms testing wholesale propositions including firms that are aiming to increase the efficiency of the capital-raising process. Alongside these we can see significant use of distributed ledger technology (DLT), some experimentation with cryptoassets which will help inform our policy work and propositions aimed at helping lower income consumers,” says Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, in a statement.